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Blending yoga and cycling to stunning effect with the YoGoGirls

James Greig | September 1, 2016

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If you’ve recently added yoga alongside cycling as part of your everyday life, you might be wondering… “Should I do yoga before or after my bike rides?”

The YoGoGirls have created another possibility for you to ponder — doing yoga with your bicycle.

When I discovered these amazingly energetic photos of the YoGoGirls lifting bicycles with their feet last month, I was intrigued. How did they come up with the idea of incorporating bikes into their yoga practice? And wasn’t it a little… dangerous?

(Insert obligatory “do not try this at home” disclaimer here)

So I fired some questions over the Atlantic to Saint Louis, Missouri — and here’s what came back from Michelle and Debby, aka the YoGoGirls.

Oh and you might spot a rather nice gold cyclocross bike in the photos… Michelle tells me this was a custom build by her friend Adam at Stanridge Cycles in Ohio.


So what came first, the yoga or the cycling?
Cycling came first for both of us. We both commute by bike often. Michelle race cyclocross and Debby participates in triathlons.

You met Debby on a bike ride… was it CycleLove at first sight?
Yes! We met at a triathlon training camp and had many things in common and some differences that complement, like yin and yang. We also have different abilities that work perfectly together. Debby is a writer/marketer and I’m a designer/photographer.  Debby is 5’8” tall, and I am 5’0. She is very outgoing, and I am an introvert… somehow it just all works.

Was there a eureka moment when you decided to start incorporating the actual bikes into your photos?
I can’t totally remember the exact time we started incorporating bikes, because it was just a natural extension for us to have our bikes nearby. Sometimes we would go on rides then stop at a cool place to hang out and do some random handstands. There was one pivotal moment when we thought it would be funny to do a handstand with a bike on our feet, so we did that and called it the #yogokickstand. As more and more people emulated the move, we got encouraged to try even more photos incorporating bikes.


What tips would you give to a cyclist who’s thinking about taking up yoga?
Do it! There are so many benefits for cyclists.

Racing as a competitive cyclist can be stressful. Yoga not only offers your mind a respite, but can provide your body the reset it may need to race again. Yoga is focusing on breathing and then linking it to movement. By focusing on the inhale and exhales of your breathing in a rhythmic fashion, you connect to a calming place where your central nervous system relaxes and your mind rests.

If you’re a non-competitive cyclist the benefits of a yoga practice abound as well. Stretching and strengthening combined with deep methodical breathing is good for everyone. There are as many varieties of yoga as there are brands of bikes and types of cyclists. Try as many as it takes to find the one that fits you. There are more rigid forms that dictate a format and more interpretive varieties, all the way to meditation and restorative classes.

It looks relatively effortless in your videos, but as anything ever gone wrong when you’re using bikes in your yoga?
Yes, all the time. We try not to have them fall, but they do occasionally fall over on us, or we drop them.


What have you got planned next for your Instagram photos? Do you feel pressured to keep upping the ante?
Debby has a new fat bike shipping to her now, and we are planning a Dr. Seuss themed video with it. We like to be silly and come up with crazy ideas that are unexpected, and the challenge of new opportunities for creating inventive images for Instagram.

What kind of cycling do you enjoy most? And have you been on any epic rides recently?
We both enjoy road cycling. I love cyclocross because of its competition and the fall weather. Debby loves the social aspect of going out on her fixed gear with friends.  She recently rode in a century and has another planned on her time trial bike and is waiting on a fat bike to arrive to take on some local mole hills asap. I was recently in Marin, California riding the mountains and am going this weekend to mountain bike again. There are some amazing views there.

Find out more about the YoGoGirls on their website or by following them on Instagram

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Posted to Lifestyle
by James Greig

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