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Tag Archives: Athletes

Yoga for Athletes: Everybody’s new bag

Sometimes as a yoga teacher it can feel isolating. You come in, you teach, you connect with your students, you have an experience, you leave. Rinse, repeat. There’s not always someone there to debrief your class, to give you feedback, to talk about things that occurred in class that need discussing. Sometimes it can feel like you’re on an island.

So when, two days in a row just this week, I happened to randomly meet two yoga teachers, both of whom have a passion for teaching Yoga for Athletes, I was delighted and encouraged…but also a little bit protective, to be completely honest.

I love teaching yoga. I love teaching yoga to athletes. As an athlete myself, I am keenly aware of the muscle fatigue, the soreness and tightness that occurs by doing activities other than yoga. Without yoga, I feel like I probably wouldn’t be able to walk due to the rigor I put my body through on a regular basis on the bike, in the pool and on the trails.

It was so cool to meet these two teachers, and I hope to attend their classes and see what take they have on teaching to athletes. I also hope they come to my classes, and maybe through those experiences we can discuss and grow and become better teachers to offer our students more wisdom, more variety.

Now about that guarded feeling…

Can the market be saturated? Are there so many yoga teachers now turning their focus on working with athletes that there won’t be anyone left to come to my classes?

That’s my fear. And, fear is never a good place to come from. Fear darkens our spirits, it hampers our ability to dream and forge new paths. It can keep us from living life fully.

But we all have experienced fear in the past, and it will continue to come up from time to time as our lives go on.

So when I think to myself, can the market of yoga for athletes be flooded? Why does everyone want to teach to athletes? I have to temper that by adding, because everyone needs yoga. And the more yoga that’s out there, the better the world will be. There’s no room for judgment, for criticism or jealousy. We’re all working toward creating more options for ourselves, our yoga practice and for our students’ experiences in class and in the real world.

While Yoga for Athletes might be everyone’s new bag, it’s a great bag. And there’s room in that bag for all of us.

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This Just In: The Oakland A’s are Yogis!

So the Oakland A’s are in first place in the American League West, and that is great. Full disclaimer, I’m an A’s fan, and a general rooter for the underdog, but I have to wonder if the A’s good fortune has anything to do with incorporating yoga into its training schedule.

That’s right, the A’s do yoga.

The team started incorporating a daily yoga practice during spring training, enlisting the services of a yoga instructor who created Yoga for Golfers. The A’s strength and conditioning coach, Mike Henriques, brought in Katherine Roberts from Nike Golf to work with the players.

During the regular season, Roberts composed three sequences for the players to do on their own.

Of course, yoga is not new to baseball. Other teams have been adding it to their training for a few years, including the Dodgers, the Padres and the Devil Rays, as well as individual players—many of them top-ranked pitchers.

Benefits yoga brings to baseball players, and athletes in general, are improved core strength, greater flexibility and body awareness and more mental control. The deep stretching also helps athletes recover from training.

“Yoga enhances any athletic performance,” Jimmy Barkan, owner of the Yoga College of India in Fort Lauderdale, told Yoga Journal, “and baseball is no exception.”

Men’s Health magazine published a sequence developed by Roberts for baseball players. Find that article with a video here.