The difference between the two is the intent.
When planning and structuring a sport specific yoga class the unique needs of a sport are taken into consideration. Such things as the major muscle groups used, injury prevention and the physiological demands.
The intent of a sport specific class is to provide participants with a way they can recover from and improve their performance in a chosen sport.
1. Focus on the Specific Muscle Groups Used in Cycling
There are two phases in the pedal stroke; the power phase and the recovery phase.
In the power phase you are using muscles that create a pushing motion. The major muscles used to achieve this include the gluts, quads and calf muscles.
In the recovery phases you are using muscles that create a pulling motion. The major muscles used in this action include the hamstrings, hip flexors and the tibialis anterior.
In a class that is focused on cycling the priority is to target the muscles used in the power phase and then those in the recovery phase.
2. Focus on Recovery
When participating in a sport or fitness class most people know and focus on the hard work it takes to achieve their fitness or performance goals. One area that is often not addressed is recovery.
By including yoga in your fitness routine it will help ensure that you are addressing your recovery. Sport specific yoga is focused on allowing you to improve your fitness and performance more efficiently which will also reduce the amount of muscle stiffness that can be created.
3. Heart Rate Control
When cycling your heart will elevate as your intensity elevates, when the intensity is reduced you want to be able to have your heart lower to allow for recovery.
In a sport specific yoga class you are taught breathing techniques that can be used to have better control of your heart rate which will allow you to recovery more effectively both during and after a cycling session.