Yogic self love, on your bicycle.

In yoga, we’re always talking about honoring our bodies.  Self care and self love are practices we cultivate on the mat, ultimately to help us do that throughout our daily lives.

When we show up for ourselves, it becomes easier to show up for others.

Treat yourself badly, you often treat others badly.  Relationships suffer.  The pain of living is unnecessarily exacerbated.  Treat yourself well, you become more likely to treat others well.  Relationships flourish.  The good in life is easier to recognize and enjoy.

How can you practice yoga on your bicycle?

I live in Philadelphia, where a lot of people I know ride bikes, and a lot of people I know are yoga students or teachers.  Often those demographics intersect.  (Because both are awesome, so no surprise! Yoga helps me navigate living better, and biking helps me navigate the city better).bike 1

I am shocked whenever I learn one of those folks doesn’t (or doesn’t always) wear a helmet while riding.  Here’s why:

Helmet-wearing has totally increased (at least in Philly) over the past few years

When I moved here,  I was one of the only people I knew who wore a helmet.  But now, only 5 years have passed and most bike messengers, hipsters, friends and coworkers all rock the helmet.  I don’t know if anyone keeps stats on that stuff, but I witnessed a dramatic change for the better.  Basically, you will no longer be alone in looking “dorky” on the road.  And now that most everyone wears them, the dork-factor has disappeared.  Plus, if you’re practicing or teaching yoga, your hair probably looks unkempt on the regular–I promise helmet hair is no worse!

Philadelphia drivers are the craziest I’ve ever seen 

There’s a lot of aggression on the road.  I’d assume anyone sharing the asphalt with all that, who is not protected by a few tons of steel and airbags, would definitely want an extra inch or two of foam and plastic surrounding their amazing, fragile, and irreplaceable brain.  

Helmets are dirt cheap

$25-$70.  Even if you are totally broke that’s pretty doable.  My life is worth that expense.  And health insurance will often reimburse you full or partial cost.

Almost everyone I know has had an accident

so the “it won’t happen to me; I’m careful” argument won’t fly.  My first big accident didn’t involve any cars, trolley tracks or alcohol; just a freak accident with a rusty brake cable.  My helmet saved my life.

The “I only don’t wear a helmet when I’m biking close to my home” argument is lame  

Just like car accidents, most bike accidents happen not far from the victim’s home.

#1 reason: Wearing a helmet is the ultimate expression of yoga-inspired self-care! 

The people who love you don’t want to lose you.*  When you show up for yourself by putting on a helmet on your head before your feet find the pedals, you are showing up for all the people you love, and who love you.  

We don’t live in a bubble.  If you get hit, you get hurt, and others pay for that too.  It’s like wearing a seat belt, or looking both ways before you cross the street.  Do it for you, do it for the life you are blessed to have, and for those you feel blessed to know.

nick-djandji-for-memorial-p  peter pan

 *I’m only in my twenties, and two people I knew are no longer here, after accidents they had when not wearing helmets.  They were both the kind of people who were so full of life there was a kind of magnetic, magic sparkle within a calm and tempered presence.  One of them would almost certainly still be alive today if he’d been wearing one, and the other I’m not sure, but knowing there’s a chance it could have panned out differently for a bright, talented, well-loved 23-year-old still fills me with a lot of sadness. 

One thought on “Yogic self love, on your bicycle.

  1. Pingback: Summer Theme: Safety! | Lisa Rigby Yoga

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