Keen sportsman Neill has always loved football, cycling and running. But after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, he had to give it all up and undergo reconstructive surgery. While recovering, Neill reduced the amount of time he spent running and focussed more on cycling. Now a keen road racer, he is currently training for a number of long-distance cycling events.
Neill has found that taking regular yoga classes at Sweat Studios has not only made him less prone to injury but also quicker on his bike. “On a road bike your feet are clipped to the pedals and your body is in a fixed position for mile after mile. This puts tremendous stress and tension on your back, hips and legs. Since taking up hot yoga, I no longer feel tightness in my back. I am more comfortable on my bike and I can put more power and speed into a race,” Neill explains.
Neill admits he wasn’t always such an advocate of yoga. Initially, he was reluctant to give it a try. “My wife first suggested I should give it a go. She had been going to Sweat for some time and thought I could really benefit from it. I wasn’t interested at all and I thought it would be full of hippies humming! I just assumed I wouldn’t enjoy it or feel any benefits.” Eventually, after some persuasion, Neill gave in and gave Sweat Studios a go.
“My memory of that first class was that it was hot! It was harder than I’d anticipated, but also a lot more enjoyable that I thought it’d be,” He explains. “It was a real eye opener. I was quite surprised at how immobile I was when attempting some of the positions. Yoga has made me aware of my body and its limitations. I knew immediately which areas were less flexible and lacking in strength.”
Neill quickly recognised that yoga could be of great benefit to him. “I knew that cycling for hours on end was really putting my back at risk so I saw yoga as a wise investment. A few yoga classes a week could help me prevent injury, avoiding the pain, expense and time of physiotherapy and rehabilitation.”
Neill’s now a true yoga convert and comes to the studio twice a week. He’s aware of how yoga can benefit his everyday life, as well as his cycling performance. “Yoga’s a great counter the potentially damaging effects of rigorous exercise. It puts you in tune with your whole body and makes you aware of what you can and can’t do. Yoga provides the all-over flexibility and strength required to make your body more productive. You have more speed, more stamina and more strength.”
Neill regularly enjoys morning and afternoon Hot Classic classes with the odd Hot Flow class to build all-round strength and flexibility. Find out more about the sessions we offer and book your spot in class.