If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won't have to hear it scream.

Hi Bikergang!

How have you been holding up?

When I decided to contribute to to this blog I did so with the intention of building an outlet for the bikergang family to access valuable information that would contribute to a healthy body and mind both on and off of the bike. One of the most important and valuable lessons I have learned through this process is that I (and we) MUST listen to our bodies. If your body is begging for rest, then rest, or if you have a nagging pain that just won’t quit, go see a professional.

With that theme in mind, the blog posting below is from our very own YYC motivator and yoga instructor Laura Berg. Read on to discover why aligning your body both physically and mentally is crucial to maintaining health as you hop on and off of that bike.

Let’s talk about alignment baby…

Why do YYC Motivators repeatedly say things like:

Chest Up, Shoulders Down, Core Tight, Back Straight…?

In addition to the importance of proper bike setup, your posture during your ride is equally important to both protect your body and maximize your workout. Motivators cue proper body alignment throughout classes because we want you to be aware of your body, ride safe preventing injury, and continue getting stronger.

As a yoga teacher I was trained to speak to what I see when I teach – this translates to cueing as a Motivator and I also speak to myself at the same time when I am cueing in classes. We Mo’s are hustling just as hard as you. Including myself when I start to get tired, the first thing that typically goes awry is your alignment. So that is why we cue the heck out of proper posture.

The most common thing I see is a hunched back. The reality is we are constantly hunched over and out of proper alignment in our day-to-day lives, driving, working at computers, while we eat, cook, clean. It is so important to use exercise as mindful movement to counter all that hunching. You want exercise to improve your posture and spine health, not make it worse.

Another thing I commonly see in yoga and spin is dangling heads. For the health of your neck, keep you head up – treat your neck always as an extension of your spine, keep yourself aligned from your tailbone to the crown of your head. You don’t want your neck jolting forward.

If you ever notice you are struggling to keep your back flat, chest or head up, that is a sign to take a seat, take a few deep breathes and re-set yourself for success. If you are hunched over, your core is not engaged. A strong core will improve and maintain proper posture – an awesome side effect is a more toned tummy! Ultimately our “core” is our spine, and our spine health is so important to our longevity, to our mobility and to elevate our quality of life.

I would rather riders’ sit down than cause themselves back, neck or joint pain. You might not feel something class one, but you could very well feed injury if you don’t focus on proper alignment when you ride. I like to say focus on building strength and not pain. Be patient and try to listen carefully to the Motivators cuing.

Ultimately spin is primarily a lung and leg workout but it is also an opportunity to strengthen your core and spine. Remember the handlebars are more for balance and stability; they are not where you should be putting your weight. I always say more resistance is better than less. Find your edge with each beat and always be challenging

your legs, that goodness will trickle up to challenge your core and as long as you prioritize your alignment, you will prevent back and neck pain, and improve your posture.

Another few things to note, I can never say enough the important of our breath. When it comes to exercise and mindful movement #1 is your BREATH, #2 SPINE, #3 CORE, #4 move from your largest joints – HIPS and SHOULDERS. Breathe deep and slow as much as possible, through your nose and out your mouth. Keep your shoulders arms and hands loose and relaxed. Then focus on what’s going on with your belly and spine. Keep your abs tight as much as possible, also important for the health of your hips.

Browse the YYC Cycle website and click the “Learn” tab for more information about Bike Set, Spin Etiquette and FAQs.

See you on the bike gang,



Laura Berg is an YYC Motivator, Yoga Teacher, Holistic Nutrition Consultant, District Manager of Cru Juice Inc. and Founder of Nourish Sweat Soul – an apparel and education brand encouraging us to shop mindfully and conscientiously. LB has a passion for educating others about the impact of what we put in our bodies, on our bodies and how our choices also affect the lives of people, animals and our environment.

Check out Nourish Sweat Soul - eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable apparel at Market Collective March 25-26th. You can also find Nourish Sweat Soul apparel at Cru Juice locations. To connect with LB or for inquiries about nutrition workshops or to get eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable clothes branded for your business, contact lb@nourishsweatsoul.com.