I came across this interview article this morning featuring NFL player Mike Adams, safety for the Indianapolis Colts. He makes many comments that are spot on with what I have heard when working with athletes. Many players are simply misinformed about what yoga is or what it can do for them. They have an image in their head thats its about being flexible as a prerequisite, or they have had an experience in college at a vigorous hot yoga class which was just way to stressful on their already stressed bodies and never returned. Athletes want to excel at all that they do; so it is hard for them to not want to be good at something. Once an athlete can give him or herself permission to not view yoga as their sport, then they will reap the benefits and enjoy a nice time out on their mat. Yes, yoga will undoubtedly increase an athletes flexibility, mobility, and core strength; but even more impactful to an athlete is the metal focus and clarity he or she will gain.



Yoga for Football



Quite often, when an athlete decides to incorporate yoga, they just show up to the most convenient class for them, which can actually do more harm then good depending on where they are in their training.

If you are an athlete, you most likely have a yearly training schedule for your sport, or a schedule of your athletic season. With this probably includes, an off-season period, a building period, and a competitive or peak period. Your yoga practice should be a complement to your training, not a deterrent.

It is KEY, to keep an inverse relationship between the intensity of your training and the intensity of your yoga. Simply put, if you are in training camp for football, in the dead of summer, you should not be going to vigorous HOT YOGA classes…your body needs REST. Your yoga, if you choose to practice should be very restorative and calming. Think…gentle stretches, legs up the wall, low to the ground poses. Why? Because you are working so hard, your body needs to balance itself out and the nervous system needs to reset and relax.

OFF-SEASON– Your training will be light. You will be focusing on building strength and correcting any imbalances in your body. You may use yoga to help you come back from an injury). During the off-season your yoga can focus more on strength and building your range of motion.

 MID-SEASON– As your training, practices, workouts, intensify, you will want to maintain flexibility through yoga. Your yoga should focus on stretching vs. strengthening. Core strength poses are always a good idea, they remain an exception. Focus on your areas of tightness, current, or from the past, whether it be shoulders, chest, upper back, or hips. Be mindful that your yoga is enhancing your recovery. Mellow is better.

IN-SEASON/ COMPETITIVE SEASON-This is time to SLOW DOWN your yoga. A little goes a long way. Do not over do it. As an athlete this is your time to FOCUS. That needs to be your FOCUS. Gentle and Restorative is the way to go. Simple breathing exercises and brief meditation work wonder for the competitive athletes ability to focus and center themselves.

Yoga and Your Training

Thumbs up on choosing to begin or deepen your yoga practice as an athlete! Yoga will enhance your performance as an athlete and will make you a better, happier person! Your teammates, coaches, friends and family will thank you! By practicing yoga, you will develop whole body strength, increase flexibility, balance, mental focus, and awareness of your breath. You will become more intimate with your own body, recognizing your limits, and at times passing them. This is key!

The next few blog posts in my Yoga for Athletes section will focus on some key guidelines when it comes to practicing. Hope you find this information useful. I will discuss appropriate levels of practice during your training cycles/seasons, recommended equipment, basic alignment principles, and breathing.



You are not a work in progress…you are a magnificent work in progress!

maxresdefaultI haven’t written on this blog in quite some time, but this evening before leaving for dinner, I sit here at my computer enjoying this gentle, sweet breeze coming through my kitchen window. I have had many conversations over the past few months with students new and old about and with myself around the very deep question that is, “Who Am I? “What is my Identity?” This has been swirling in my head for a long time now. I want to be transparent, but don’t want to bore you. I question myself every day about the direction of my life. I am in my thirties..I went to college and graduate school, I had a great career going for years in financial services–because that was what I was supposed to be!…a business person, like my successful father! Did I fail? I’ve had my fair share of personal issues, haven’t we all? Although I always did good in my jobs, I never liked them, but who really does? I never felt inside that I was good at what I did…I started to be really unhappy and very unhealthy…over time I made a decision to leave a career and teach yoga full time. Wow…what was my identity now? Going from making very nice money about to buy a new house, to basically volunteering, making enough money to buy my coffee and pay the parking ticket I got while teaching class. Married to my best friend, yet we have no children..what is my identity? Some days I wake up angry at myself at my current identity, wishing just stuck with traditional career path, had 2 kids, like many of my other friends. But MOST days–Most days,  I wake up and I wish it no other way…i am FULL of gratitude for the people I have met through yoga and for the doors that have opened for me and the opportunities that I have been given…but most importantly I am thankful for the peace within that this change has brought me, and the health it has given me. This is my identity…at this moment…and I will embrace it.

I have learned from my wonderful teachers and through the practice of yoga (and I will clarify teachers, are friends, family, yes yoga teachers, mentors, etc.) I try to make an effort, albeit, hard, to understand that my life, our lives–are magnificent works in progress. That each and everyone of us has the ability to shape our own life purpose, or Dharma. When I heard a teacher say so simply, “Your identity is a fluid, not a solid…that you are constantly changing, always in flux, and that is OK….it was so nice to hear. It was so–calming. We are the result of many, many, many, years of moving, flowing, really smart evolution. This life we live is a process..and we need to trust that with each passing moment we are becoming the person that we yearn to be and the person that the world needs us to be. If we can spend some time out of our day figuring out what we can do to make the world a better place and then put it into action…well then we will continue to positively shape our identity.

And lets embrace Santosha, and contentment, and roll with the ebb and flow which is life itself.

Thank you guys for reading.