I have started to take notice of a recent trend – combination Yoga + Spin studios starting to pop up everywhere! I thought to myself, there must be some logic to this and wondered why this particular marrying of physical fitness activities was happening? I went straight to the source and sat down with one of LA’s most influential spinning instructors who is also yoga certified, Chris Plourde. Find out why he thinks Spinning & Yoga complement each other and why they are so similar.
Why do Yoga & Spinning seem to complement each other?
Chris: “The truth is, yoga and spinning have many similarities from the stamina building, increased strength, and confidence building benefits to the mind/body connection. As a teacher and student of both practices, I find that the two (especially when combined) can be extremely complimentary in achieving one’s ultimate fitness.
I have been involved in fitness my entire life; from playing team sports in high school & college to competing in numerous cycling, running events, triathlons, surfing and practicing yoga. I started taking yoga classes during college to help “cure” my lack of flexibility, which was a byproduct from years of football, wrestling and weightlifting. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I found was an extremely challenging (both mentally and physically) experience. This experience, on one hand, was super uncomfortable but left me wanting more and it always has!”
What advice do you give to instructors in training?
Chris: “As a Master Instructor certifying instructors and providing continuing education, I often advise my students to take a yoga class and observe the language and progression of the class so they can use those same guidelines when teaching their spin classes. A good yoga teacher coaches students through challenging poses as a good spinning instructor coaches students through an epic climb or a powerful race-day. “
What do you think are the main similarities between the two physical activities?
Chris: “Yoga and spinning share a plethora of physiological benefits such as lubrication and strengthening of joints, removal of toxins, increased muscle strength, core activation and many heart health benefits. When you are asked to ?ow through a series of challenging asanas or ride through difficult “terrain” both instructions can be to set small, measurable goals.
In yoga it could be the challenge of rotating your thigh to the ceiling, to melt your shoulders away from your ears or hold warrior 2 for 15 breaths. In spinning it could be to hold your cadence by making impeccable circles with your pedal stroke or to maintain an anaerobic climb for 4 minutes, all of these small goals keep people focused and in the moment. It’s all about finding a sense of calm in the storm.
Yoga also teaches us to sit in the discomfort, to breathe and to relax. In class, I coach my spinning students to evaluate and accept the discomfort as opposed to ignoring it. If they find a sense of calm while pushing themselves on a hill with their heart rate elevated, it’s a huge reward for them at the summit of their mountain! “
Chris will be hosting a fitness, spinning & yoga retreat in Bali this October, please check out details here!