Yoga with Haley!

Meet Haley Steinhauser, yogi extraordinaire, cyclist, and Bates College student, who teaches at the studio on Sundays at 12. She guarantees that her class, which is full of poses for everyone and great music to help you find your groove, will make your ride stronger and your head clearer. Read on to find out why she thinks that “if you can breathe, you can do yoga”. IMG_5564-1 What are you up to when you're not teaching yoga?

I’m currently a sophomore at Bates College, so my life mostly revolves around my academic work at the moment. Other than school I love painting, hanging out with my friends, and eating good food.

Why did you start practicing yoga and what made you want to begin teaching? I started practicing as an outlet for stress and also as a counter workout to the sports I played. Once I started, I quickly became addicted. No exercise had the same effect on me and impact on my life. It was this feeling of freedom that I wanted to share with others. This practice was not only exercise for me, but enabled me to see the world through a different lens.

Can you tell us a little bit about why you think yoga benefits indoor cyclists in particular?

This past summer I fell in love with cycling and I think part of this was because of the same feeling of freedom it gave me. The focus and breathing techniques I learned from yoga helped me become a better cyclist. Yoga benefits indoor cyclists in a few different ways. Firstly, yoga works to strengthen your core, which helps promotes proper posture on the bike. It is a great way to keep your body, especially your legs, loose which is important in preventing injury. The combination of these workouts is extremely complementary, as they both have counteracting benefits that can improve your overall performance.

Any tips for riders who may be nervous about trying a yoga class for the first time?

I always have people telling me that they can’t do yoga because they can’t touch their toes…I always respond with “if you can breathe you can do yoga”. My main advice: get into the studio and focus on yourself. I think there is a strong stigma around the practice as having to be an intense and spiritual experience. In my classes I put a strong emphasis on having fun and not taking yourself or your practice too seriously. Taking the ego out of your practice is a constant effort. I think many beginners get intimidated by the class setting, as a fear of looking foolish arises. But I guarantee, at any level of experience, if you go, you will feel better by the end of the class than you did when you walked in. I have told people who have been extremely nervous about trying a yoga class to come and even just lie down for the hour and focus on their breathing. It’s the getting past that initial step that is the hardest part.