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Category Archives: Yogi Spotlight

Success with Summer of Core

Sometimes it’s hard to stick with the program. It’s hard to commit, it’s hard to keep it going.

But those times when you do, when you really stick to your guns, the outcome can be more than what you expect.

Katy Mangan

When Katy Mangan signed up to be a part of Summer of Core, she said she did so reluctantly. Though she has a dedicated yoga practice of four to five times a week, she wasn’t sure she wanted to commit more time to working on strengthening her core.

She started getting the emails and dutifully carried out each day’s exercise, and soon she began to notice an improvement not only in her abs and arms but in her attitude. “I feel stronger, so I feel more confident,” she said, sitting outside of Soul Yoga after class.

“Now I can really begin to realign my poses. Like in Warrior I and II, I can work on fine-tuning it,” she said. “Because I’ve gotten stronger, I’ve noticed I don’t have [the poses] down.”

Katy said her balance has also improved as her core strength has grown. She also feels proud of herself that she stuck with the program. In fact, she said, holding plank has become quite enjoyable.

“Plank now is a very reassuring pose for me, instead of being difficult,” she said. “It’s obviously what I need.”



Yogi-Athlete Spotlight: Ironwoman Amy Ware

I met Amy Ware on the pool deck before a Master’s swim practice about six months ago.

We were both procrastinating getting into the water, knowing a tough workout was ahead and preferring to remain social. I asked her, in true athlete small talk, what she was training for. She said, “Well, I signed up for Vineman.”

“Half?” I asked, referring to the 70.3 distance some of my friends had on their schedule.

“The full,” she grinned. “I’m not sure I’m really going to do it. I don’t know what I got myself into.”

I nodded. I’ve never done an Ironman distance triathlon, but I am married to someone who has, and I know the training is grueling. It’s at least a part-time job, sometimes demanding more than 20 hours of training a week. It’s not for the faint of heart.

We got into the water and did our workout, and soon I’m following Amy on Strava. Then I’m riding with her and running with her (me working hard to keep up, mind you) after swim practices. Then we are carpooling to a race. Then she’s coming to my Active Recovery class. And then, just about two weeks ago, she not only finishes the full Vineman, she kills it.

Amy is inspiring. Here’s a little more about her journey and how yoga works into her life as a triathlete, nurse and partner.

When did you start doing yoga and why?
I started doing yoga after a knee injury side lined me from running in 2010. I started with Bikram yoga, as I was mostly interested in the “workout” aspect of the experience, so I attended class 2 to 3 times a week to “keep up my fitness” while I was unable to run.

As it turns out, I enjoyed the other aspects of yoga too, so have added vinyasa and restorative yoga to my schedule.


Amy with lots of energy left and a big smile on the run at Ironman Vineman 2016.

How do you yoga has affected your triathlon training?
Yoga has been super helpful! I try to integrate it into active recovery days after hard training sessions for the stretching benefit and to change the way I’m working my body.

What’s your favorite thing about yoga?
I love that it challenges me in entirely different ways. I work different parts of myself and bring awareness to what I’ve got going on, and where I’ve got strength and weakness and what’s hurting or feeling really good.

What would you tell your athlete friends about why they should do yoga?
Yoga is an amazing addition to a training program of any distance! It helps strengthen both mental and physical elements and it has helped me bring awareness to what’s going on inside and outside of myself. Plus, who doesn’t need an hour or two of dedicated stretching a week in their training?!? Yoga is a perfect complement to the craziness that is Ironman training!

When’s your next Ironman? (wink, wink)
Haha! Good question! I’ll be doing the 70.3 in Palm Springs in December, but I technically don’t have another long course on the schedule… yet….

Yogi Spotlight: Meet Bethany Ruiz

Bethany Ruiz
Age: 34
Hometown: Miller City, OH
Favorite Sport to Watch: Mudhens baseball (to people watch)
Favorite Yoga Poses: Pigeon, Triangle, Dolphin pushups and “anything lying down”

WBethanyMughen Bethany Ruiz isn’t busily fixing computer glitches and updating software or managing servers at her full-time job at the Anderson’s in Maumee, she might be lecturing college students about information technology or drinking a beer at Rocky’s Bar. But chances are, you will find her running, biking, swimming, working on her Jiu-Jitsu moves or chasing after her active dogs. And you might even find her on the yoga mat.

The Toledo resident says exercise keeps her sane during her 12- to 15-hour workday. “When I’m not working out, I tend to not eat well and it becomes a downward spiral.”

After a hip injury a few years ago, Ruiz tried yoga but wasn’t immediately impressed. Her mind wandered in class. She would wonder what she was going to have for dinner, what she needed to pick up at the grocery store or what she was going to do after class. Her mind was not in the moment.  Then she found a DVD of yoga for runners and it changed her perspective. “I signed up for some classes at the gym and I thought I was in good shape, I thought I was fit, but five seconds in the downward dog when my entire body started to shake I was like, OK, this is working muscles differently. And then it became a challenge so that’s where the fun came in.”Bethany2

She began a regular yoga practice and now sees it as part of her athletic training. She says it helps her see the bigger picture.

“It’s not just about your times and what you can eke out in a week for swimming, biking and running. It’s more about overall health and how do you feel and correcting your posture. And all that stuff rolled up I think does positively affect your times. If you can put the time into something that you may not think directly impacts your performance for triathlons, you can kind of get past that and start to see the benefits after just a couple weeks.”

Ruiz says her yoga practice has helped her find focus during her workouts. Working to calm the mind has helped her get out of her head and into her body. She knows she needs yoga when her body gets tight, and she’s not going to be thinking about going to the grocery store. She’s thinking about releasing the tightness in her hips and stretching her legs out.

After a good class, she says, she feels taller, “which is awesome because I’m six feet tall anyway. I feel taller, more calm and like I took care of myself, which I don’t usually do. It’s all about bigger, better, faster so it’s nice to take a step back.”

It’s not just about your times and what you can eke out in a week for swimming, biking and running. It’s more about overall health and how do you feel and correcting your posture. And all that stuff rolled up I think does positively affect your times.