Yoga vs Mountain Biking

When I was in my early 20s I tried doing Bikram Yogo, which is hot yoga. I really enjoyed it and I have done yoga (most Ashtanga or similar) on and off for the past decade. There seems to be this idea that yoga isn’t a legit type of workout because there is so much stretching. I always dismissed these thoughts, because I never had the data to prove it.

Until yesterday, when I did yoga with my Apple Watch tracking my heart rate. I thought I would do a comparison yoga with mountain biking.

Comparing workouts

I don’t understand the full science of workouts. I do have some data and I have used that to complete my own analysis. I know that the higher your heart beats, the more active the workout is. I also know that your heart rate can be broken into different zones and those zone represent the type of workout you are doing (fat burning, aerobic, anerobic). Here are the data points I reviewed for each workout:

  • length
  • average heart rate
  • max heart rate
  • amount spent in each zone
  • active calories

Yoga workout

The yoga workout I chose was yesterday (2016-11-12), however I haven’t done yoga for at least 3 years.

  • length 1h5m
  • average heart rate 133bpm
  • max heart rate 164
  • minimum heart rate 87
  • amount spent in each zone
    • high intensity 0%
    • Anaerobic zone 6%
    • Aerobic zone 22%
    • Energy efficient & recovery zone 31%
    • Resting 24%
  • active calories 621

Mountain bike workout

In the summer I was riding my mountain bike a lot, and the following ride was from July 3, 2016. This was a ride from the Hammerfest bike trails, which there is a big climb and then a long decent.

  • length 1h17m
  • average heart rate 145bpm
  • max heart rate 203
  • minimum heart rate 87
  • amount spent in each zone
    • high intensity 25%
    • Anaerobic zone 6%
    • Aerobic zone 13%
    • Energy efficient & recovery zone 18%
    • Resting 25%
  • active calories 420

With mountain biking, I find it odd that there was very little time in the Anaerobic, but a lot in the high intensity and the aerobic zone. The natural flow of mountain biking is to climb for a while, take a little break then go downhill. There is a lot of start and stop, climbing hills is hard and intense and when you are going downhill, it is hard, but you stay mostly in the aerobic and recovery zone.

Other differences

  • mountain biking is fast, so adrenaline plays a factor, injury is also a lot higher
  • most mountain bike rides are about two hours
  • there is a lot more variety with a mountain bike ride: intense climb up a hill, wait before going down
  • usually have a snack during a mountain bike ride, this contributes to the start and stop nature
  • mountain biking is always outside
  • yoga is much easier to fit into my lifestyle
  • the weather doesn’t impact a yoga session


If burning calories is the most important, doing yoga is probably the best workout. Yoga is also the best if you want to do something inside, or you don’t want to go to the mountain biking trails. Mountain biking is more fun and it gets you outside, but it does have its risk see what happened in June

Chiang Mai

For those of you that have been check often, I thank you. We have been lazy these past few days, not seeing too many sights in Chiang Mai, and as a result, not blogging too much. I’m sorry to report that it will probably be more of the same in the coming months. We will be heading up to the Panya Project on Saturday. We will be spending about 2 months there volunteering at the permaculture project. I expect that the posts will slow down even more. We will be coming back to Canada at the end of September, which means we are on the final leg of our journey.

Enough of that though, Chiang Mai is great. This city is pretty small, somewhat historic and filled with good food and many temples. Since we have been here we have seen a handful of Buddhist temples (they all look pretty similar to me now), went to the Sunday night market, rented a tandem bicycle, got our visas extended, I had a 24 hour bout of food poisoning, and Tanya has been going to some yoga classes.

The food here has been great, from traditional Thai food to modern pizza, you can have many tasty meals here. One of my favorites have been the ripe mango on sticky rice. The mango is sweet and ripe (they don’t taste like this back home), and the rice is slightly salty, slightly sticky. It’s a great combination, combine that with an orange juice and a coffee, it is a great way to start the morning (only 1 Canadian dollar, perfect). There is lots of other food in this town as well, too many to name, all are cheap and tasty though.

Mango and Sticky Rice

The Sunday night market is not an event to be missed. A couple of intersecting streets, about 1km long each all provide thousands of people with something to do on Sunday night. Hundreds of stands lite by bright compact fluorescent lights sell all sorts of stuff. From trinkets to t-shirts there are stalls selling almost anything. The real treasure is the food however. For 10 bhat (25 cents) you can get a big spring roll, or Pad Thai, or fresh juice or any other number of great fare. The food is spicy and the atmosphere is electric. It was great fun, and after walking the market Tanya and I wondering why our grocery/big box/small box stores give us such an un-inspiring bland experience.

Tandem Bicycle

One day we found a tandem bicycle that you can rent. If you remember, we rented a really old, poorly made one in Da Lat, Vietnam. The one here was much nicer then the one in Da Lat. We rented it and headed out of town. We first had to get out of the city though and that was somewhat stressful. Although Thailand traffic isn’t the worst traffic around (like India or Vietnam), maneuvering a tandem makes everything a little more challenging. We did get out of town and it was great, the scenery was filled with green fields, a brown river and smiling faces. As many people would wave, smile or honk their horn at us, we felt that same feeling we felt back in India. It was great, and it really made us start to miss our cycle touring days. By the looks on the faces of the local Thia’s we passed, they don’t see tourists very often, never mind two on the same bike, pedaling in perfect sync. To me, that is what makes traveling great, making someone smile.

After a tiring 3.5 hour ride we headed back. We walked back to our hotel, tired and stiff (we haven’t been doing much exercise lately). Renting bikes are great, seeing the rural area is great, doing both at the same time is perfect. After spending the last couple of month backpacking, I know that having your own two wheeled mode of transportation is the best. You get off the main track, you see things other don’t and you have a great time. Although our trip isn’t done yet, I feel I have learned a great deal in the past 8 months: bicycles are fun, rural areas are nice (especially in the morning), having some meaning to your traveling makes things much more rewarding and 99.9% of the time, people are nice and helpful.

Posted from Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
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The Dog Days of Mysore

Like everything we’ve done on this trip, we didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into when signing up for a month of yoga in Mysore. But, also like every other unknown thing on this trip, it has turned out great!

Prana Vashya Yoga

Based on the recommendation of a previous yoga student, we decided to do our yoga with Vinay Kumar, a young teacher but has spend most of his life immersed in yoga. He is a fantastic teacher, encouraging, caring, and very dedicated. I would recommend him to anyone debating which yoga teacher to study with in Mysore!

As in a previous post, we do yoga twice a day (well most days), 5 or 6 days per week. The morning class is similar to Ashtanga yoga, in which you do the same series of yoga asanas (postures) everyday, it is challenging due to the fact we are both usually sore from the day before still! The evening class is more relaxed and is more focused on increasing flexibility, and everyone in the class does something somewhat different.

Tanya enjoying the shade

As for our accomodation during this time, we found a really great place ran by a guy from France (who we have not met because he went home to France just before we arrived and will be back after we leave). It is really well set up, there is a fully stocked kitchen with anything you could possibly need (this is very unique for India), such as things like a pannini press, a blender, coffee maker, a fridge (!), and more! There is wi-fi internet, hammocks in the garden out fount, and hot water. There are also two Indian ladies who are here everyday to wash the dishes, clean the bathroom, etc! There are 4 rooms here and we’ve met some great people also staying here. In any other place but India, I cannot even imaging how much it would cost to stay here. Everything we need is within about a 5 block radius, like…Nilgris – a great market with things like cheddar cheese and basil, and Mahesh Prasad – the tasty restaurant always packed with locals and some yoga students.

Where we get our grocieries

We’ve really enjoyed our time here, and could easily stay longer…but believe it or not, 4.5 months is not enough time for India.

They know you what we are going to order here before we tell them

Kelly making lunch

The Mysore Palace (for Tanya and Kelly)

Inside the Palace

Posted from Mysore, Karnataka, India
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From Pondycherry to Mysore

For the rest of our stay in India, we will not be riding any more. We have signed up for a yoga class and that is where we will be spending the rest of our days (about a month). As such there will not be as regular posts. There will still be posts, but when you are staying in the same city for a month, there isn’t a whole lot to see. There will not be a post every two days (as I’m sure you guys have noticed).

Over the past few months we have had an average of 72 people visit our site a day (which is amazing, I didn’t know I knew 72 people), and I thank you all for reading (or viewing the pictures) on the site.

Mysore Palace

Before arriving in Mysore we spent some time Pondycherry. After leaving Sadhana forest (which was a great experience) we booked into something a little more luxurious (which means there was a toilet and privacy). It was good and we enjoyed eating the French food.

As there is not a lot to see between Pondycherry and Mysore, and it is getting hot we opted to take a bus to Mysore. We booked on a sleeper and we both got a bed. Having a bed on the bus is great, you can sleep in comfort and time flies by. Before we knew it we were in Bangalore, hoped onto another bus and we were in Mysore in no time.

A window in Mysore

We signed up for our yoga class and have been to a few classes. They have been great, two classes a day at two hours a piece. A total of four hours of yoga. It isn’t the relax and try to touch your toes yoga, you hold a pose and every breathyou push with your hands (usually towards your feet or the ceiling depending on the pose) on the inhale and the push with your feet on the exhale. The result is a constant stretch for 5 long breaths. Then you switch sides and do it all over again.

For anyone who wants to say that doing yoga isn’t a real exercise, I challenge you to come to India and sign up for one of these courses. Within 30 seconds of the warm up I am sweating and within 5 minutes my shirt is saturated with sweat. My muscles are extremely sore, every time I move I am reminded of lactic acid that has taken residence in my muscles.

Posted from Mysore, Karnataka, India
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