We recently caught up with Sacred Rides guide Johanna Weintrager. Johanna has a contagious smile and enthusiastic energy, as well as an impressive and wide array of skills. She’s an international mountain bike guide, yoga instructor, rock climber, sports nutrition consultant, former XC and DH racer and is always eager to share her passions. Read on for Johanna’s top yoga poses that complement mountain bikers.
I started riding in North Vancouver around the dawn of the millennium after sea kayak guiding on the East coast. After a month of living in North Vancouver bikes made their way into my life, a natural calling since I lived at the base of Mt. Seymour, home of Boogieman, Ned’s and other popular trails. I fell in love with the gnarly shore trails, bridges, steep rock rolls, hucks to flats and the carnival of excitement that these features created. I spent most of my summer days exploring the North Shore, Whistler and Squamish. In the winter’s I grabbed a bike light so I could bike year round. I then started coaching. Travelling and riding all the best trails in British Columbia. Sacred Rides found me in the mountains of Rossland, B.C. while I was coaching in 2007. I eventually moved to Fernie, B.C. (home of Fernie Fat Tire that was later to become Sacred Rides) when I was offered to run the women’s program. I have now been guiding and coaching internationally for over 10 years. It has been the most incredible way to spend the majority of my year! So many places, faces, laughter, trails and triumphs have been lived through myself and everyone who joins me on a trip! I have seen communities grow, trails get created and trails disappear. The cycle of it all. Over the past few years, I have travelled the world between guiding seasons and explored little corners and pockets of undiscovered joy.
Biking is a form of meditation, a time to be with yourself and your breath. To be in the moment and re-centre yourself. I laugh and giggle a lot when I ride. I am one of the lead guides in B.C. and Utah for both co-ed and women’s-only rides and I also helped develop the Pura Vida Yoga and Mountain Bike Retreat in Costa Rica and a yoga and mountain bike retreat in Mexico. I’m excited to be joining our team in Peru this September 2019 for our Women’s only Inca Trail All Mountain ride in Peru!
Yoga is part of my being. I’ve been blessed to have done the Sacred Rides Patagonia, Nepal, California, and Costa Rica trips. I am a certified coach and have Yoga Alliance 500hr RYT with a degree in Sports and Fitness Nutrition. I have been around to see Sacred Rides grow. I’ve experienced our guides from around the world do such an incredible job and show Riders the best mountain bike trails, culture, accommodations and cuisine their country has to offer. With an open mind, eyes and two wheels below us we can explore the beauty this planet has to offer as well as keep the prana flowing!
YOGA POSES AND TIPS FOR MOUNTAIN BIKERS
TYPES OF YOGA:
There are numerous types of yoga that offer different benefits. It’s important to choose the right type of yoga to complement your goals both on and off the bike. Note: you should never feel pain while practicing yoga. If you do experience pain, you may be doing the poses incorrectly or have a previous injury. Go slow, breathe and practice often.
1. YIN YOGA
Slow-paced yoga where poses are held for 45 seconds to two minutes to stretch your connective tissues, become more elastic and improve your circulation. Yin Yoga is a great post-ride practice for relaxation, inner peace, spirituality, calming and fascia.
2. RESTORATIVE YOGA
Restorative yoga is focused around decreasing stress, relaxation and rejuvenation. This practice taps into your parasympathetic nervous system to help you truly relax and is a wonderful practice to help with injury recovery.
3. BIKRAM AND ASHTANGA YOGA
Bikram and Ashtanga yoga are focused around building strength and focus – perfect for mountain bikers. Bikram yoga is a series of 26 postures that are practiced in a heated room to help release toxins and strengthen the body, while Ashtanga yoga is a series that includes 71 plus a warm-up with Suranamaskara A & B (Sun Salutations) repeated 5 times.