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  • Why I love mountain bikers who do yoga

    13 comments Published Mar 16, 09 AM
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    By Shana Sturtz

    I have done my share of yoga retreats. However, I recently embarked on my first mountain biking yoga retreat. This consisted of sunrise yoga, mountain biking anywhere from two to five hours each day, and an evening Yin class. After this enlightening exercise extravaganza, I am ready to share my exaggerations and stereotypes with the world.

    Here are a few of the differences I noted between the people in a purely yoga retreat versus the the sorts found on our mountain biking / yoga excursion.

    * Fuel.

        1.  While a yoga student may go on a meditative walk, stopping along the side of the road to eat an edible flower, a mountain biker will stop roadside to consume a slab of beef, Cheetos and a Coke.
        2. If you’re at a yoga retreat, you feel the need to rinse off after a sweaty practice rendered your eucalyptus deodorant ineffective. After a day of mountain biking and two yoga classes, you will feel the need to wash away the blood, sweat, mud, tears, and the mysterious snail stuck to the back of your leg.
        3. While a yoga student may complain about being gassy after eating that extra sliver of pear, a mountain biker will complain about diarrhea after mixing tequila and beer and swooning over a mariachi band late into the night.
        4. After a yoga retreat, student extraordinaire has a journal full of revelations, poems, hearts and declarations of gratitude. The mountain biker’s journal is empty.
        5. A yoga student will use the bandhas to do a graceful jump through. A mountain biker’s bandhas will be as loose as their bike on gravel, until they are told bandhas work for hill climbing too!
        6. After a yoga retreat, everyone will lose weight from one too many meals of coconut water and undressed, raw veggies. The other group will have gained weight from too much pizza, ice cream and beer. Everyone will be slightly dehydrated.
        7. If you skip a yoga class on a yoga retreat, people will look at you like, “What’s wrong with you — aren’t you here to do yoga?” If you skip a yoga class on a mountain biking / yoga retreat, nobody gives a fuck. You are an adult, after all.
        8. At a yoga retreat, you will probably have a day of silent contemplation. On the other retreat, you will probably joke and laugh for days on end.
        9. During your yoga retreat you will likely make great strides in flexibility. With mountain biking, you will probably lose ground in your pigeon pose, if you could even do it in the first place.
        10. A yoga student may eat an avocado for their weekly caloric intake. Mountain bikers eat a whole avocado every two hours as a snack.
        11. At a yoga retreat, you won’t let that pesky wrist pain get in the way of your practice. At a mountain biking retreat, you won’t let your mending femur bone or the blood pouring from your head the day before interfere with your cycling.
        12. At a yoga retreat, a husband may brag that his petite yoga wife has no subcutaneous fat. On a bike retreat, a wife may brag that her husband is 203 pounds of solid muscle. (Yes, both of these have happened).
        13. If you are reading this at a yoga retreat, you are offended and thinking, what’s her fucking problem? You are writing your defense of the yoga community to Elephant Journal or Huff Post or whatever between meditation and pelvic floor lifts. If you are at a mountain biking / yoga retreat and you are reading this, you didn’t make it past number three.

    About Shana Sturtz

    Shana Sturtz is a certified yoga teacher and survivor of the exploding Portland, Oregon yoga scene. She currently lives in Guadalajara, Mexico with her husband, Tom. She continues to teach yoga and tutors in English. She has practiced yoga for 15 years, and yes, she is older than most yoga teachers. She is currently looking for more ways to occupy her time in this new land where she hasn’t quite grasped the language, and she is too scared to drive. Coming from Portland, you only learn to ride a bike. While no longer living in Portland (where a new yoga studio opens every hour) she is forced to practice her yoga within the comforts of her home, often with her cat looking on admiringly.