Yoga is the perfect complement to athletic training, and athletes of all levels are realizing this truth. Yoga is showing up in collegiate and professional athletics more and more, and professional athletes and amateur athletes alike can benefit from the mind-body connection that a Yoga practice fosters. As everyday athletes, we focus on building drive and endurance, but we need to do so without over-training or creating injury. This can be a delicate balance, and Yoga postures and mental practices can help in this pursuit.
Whether you have a regular Yoga practice or are just exploring Yoga, this weekend will offer a fresh take on the complementary practice of Yoga and sports training. Class sessions will include Yoga poses, breathing exercises and discussions about key aspects of the eight limbs of Yoga and their applicability to athletic focus and training.
In our movement sessions, you’ll learn to cultivate strength from the core, increase flexibility with poses that work for any body, find ease in balance, savor recovery and examine how Yoga philosophy can make you a better athlete—whether your athletic pursuits are to run a 5k or participate in an Ironman. Participants will leave the weekend with practical, easy routines to build strength, increase fluidity and speed recovery.
The sessions will include handouts for short routines to incorporate into training—during off-season, recovery and in active training. We’ll discuss why Yoga for Athletes is not Athletic Yoga; it’s Yoga to cultivate our athletic abilities, not demonstrate them on the mat.
Participants in Yoga for Athletes: Centered, Strong, and Fluid can expect to:
• Learn routines that work to enhance training and encourage recovery
• Discover the ways that Yoga philosophy and athletic focus connect
• Explore the way that Yoga can offer a fresh approach to a sport
• Experiment with appropriate application of effort and breath in Yoga poses
Details on Workshop Sessions and Content:
Friday: The Six Movements of the Spine and Effective Yoga
In this session, we’ll look at the many ways we can stretch and move the spine. We’ll explore fluidity in the body prone, seated and standing—noticing where the stretches feel best. We’ll also begin our discussion here of effective Yoga for the ebb and flow of athletic training.
Saturday Morning: Core Strength, Hip Flexibility, and Athletic Focus
In our most active session, we’ll build strength by through intensive core work and focus on keeping the knee safe in effective hip-opening poses. Our discussion here will focus on cultivating athletic focus through balance, meditation,and a consideration of the eight limbs of Yoga.
Saturday Afternoon: Yoga for Athletic Recovery
This part of the weekend intensive will be an invitation to recover and restore. We’ll spend some time in easy and effective static stretches and then stay in longer holds of gentle, supported, restorative poses. Discussion will focus on the need for preemptive rest and the use of Yoga as a recovery tool.
Sunday: Balance, Breath, and Appropriate Effort
In this closing session, we’ll revisit some discussion of ideas already covered. We’ll break the practice into mini-routines that can be used for any aspect of athletic training. We’ll also spend some time exploring balance in body and mind.
Lucia Jones, E-RYT 200, RAYT, RALC is a student of life who loves sharing the gift of yoga. She encourages students to listen to and honor their own bodies, and offers teachings based in mindfulness. She employs a yoga practice to clear her mind, and to improve her sense of physical and emotional balance. Her interest in the relationships between mind, body, and health also led her to study nutrition, Pilates and other holistic approaches to life, which inform her belief that wellness comes from considering and supporting all aspects of the self. Her yoga for athletes instruction incorporates key elements of her own practice–mindfulness and balance–in the belief that the fully present and balanced athlete is able simultaneously to perform his or her best and reduce the likelihood of injury.
Lucia has worked with athletes at different stages of their training cycle, and creates yoga routines based on the needs of her students. She has studied with yoga for athletes expert Dr. Sage Rountree, and has taught sports teams at the University of North Carolina, as well as led Yoga for Athletes sessions at local races, training courses, and other venues. Lucia believes that bringing mindfulness to training and improving flexibility and recovery through yoga leads to fewer injuries and healthier and happier you.
Visit Lucia’s website: www.everythingisyoga.com
Photo by Courtney Long