Aug 282012

Author: Kendall Greenwood

English: downward dog posture I took this pict...

English: downward dog posture I took this picture for use in the Anahata Yoga instruction manual. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You have been going for 30 minutes now. Your legs burn, there is sweat dripping down your back and your heart is racing. You aren’t sure if you can take anymore but there is an instructor at the front telling you if you don’t go faster you will have to ride for another song. Then, five minutes later, you are in the downward-dog position listening to tranquil music while the same instructor’s soothing voice lulls your heart to a steady beat.

ZenRide, offered at the CSU Recreation Center, is a class that combines cycling and yoga. The beginning half of the class focuses on the cardio of cycling while the last half consists of a calming yoga routine. Mixing these two gives the feeling of rigorous exercise and a sufficient cool down, according to yoga and cycling instructor Samantha Lieurance, 32.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever done long distance runs in the morning, but you get that really happy endorphin kick,” Lieurance said. “Well, with the cycling and yoga class you get the cycling endorphin kick, but then you get to bring everything back down and get really centered in the body.”

Lieurance created the class three years ago with group fitness directors Tamara Stroh and Nicole Larocque so students could have a safer workout.

“Every time that I do the cycling classes I would feel really bad because there are so many technical things I was seeing students do [that cause] injury,” Lieurance said.

According to Lieurance, cycling classes spend about ten minutes stretching. The body may need more than that, especially if an improper technique was used. The yoga thoroughly stretches the body and protects against possibly injury.

“I get to get psyched, show my personality and be like ‘yeah, let’s ride and push really hard’,” Lieurance said. “Then I get to show people how to be safe.”

ZenRide pushes CSU senior Abby Harder, 22, to do better.

“I’m really bad at working out by myself,” Harder said. “The class motivates me a little more.”

With a busy schedule, Harder can complete a tough workout in a short amount of time.

“My favorite part of the cycling in general is that you get a really good workout in 45 minutes to an hour,” Harder said. “I’m pretty busy, so it’s important for me to get here, workout and leave.”

ZenRide also gives Lieurance the opportunity to get to know attendees.

“Sometimes I’ll have a new student come in, and they’ll give me some of their goals,” Lieurance said. “I like it when (students) open up to me.”

In other cycle classes this is not always the case.

“Some cycling classes you go in and sprint (with) loud music (playing) the whole time (and) you don’t get a chance to talk to people as much as you would like,” Lieurance said.

Harder said she receives more from ZenRide than a good workout too.

“I like the yoga,” Harder said. “It’s nice to relax after you have been riding.”

ZenRide is held Monday mornings from 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and Thursday from 8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Students can buy a semester cycling pass for $35 or a joint cycling and mind and body pass for $89.

“(You) learn your limit, learn proper form,” Lieurance said, “but then (you) also learn how to push yourself. It’s fun.”

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