The physical and mental benefits of a consistent yoga practice, i.e. increased strength, core stability, stamina, balance, and flexibility, focus and concentration, helps address/ eliminate some challenges often met by sports people.
The New Zealand and Irish Rugby teams have been known to do yoga, and the German soccer team included yoga practice as part of its training before winning the 2014 world cup. Ryan Giggs has said that yoga is the key to prolonging his Manchester United career. The world’s no.1 male tennis player, Novak Djokovic, tries to practice yoga daily. Professional golfers, like Tiger Woods, David Duval and many others, are said to regularly practice yogic postures.
I am available for classes and workshops (scheduled around my working week) that are specifically focused and designed for a particular sport, athlete or team of athletes/ sports professionals. I am trained in the two most common types of yoga asana (posture) practice – hatha and vinyasa. Generally, athletes from any sport can handle the demands and benefit from these two practices:
- Vinyasa (e.g. Ashtanga vinyasa) helps to improve balance and stretch the back muscles, making it beneficial for runners and cyclists; and
- Hatha (e.g. Iyengar yoga) focuses on body alignment and precise, rigid movements, making it ideal for tennis players and golfers.
Check out this blogpost for tips & guidelines for students before asana practice.
Prices for group classes or workshops depend on numbers of attendees. Please connect with me via email, briefly outlining your requirements and questions and I will revert as soon as possible with a quote. Visit current schedule for pricing of classes on offer or contact me if you would like a personal quote for a one to one session.
Well known sports professionals and teams speaking about the benefits of yoga
New Zealand Rugby Team
“We do not travel anywhere without the team’s personal yoga trainer” Graham Henry, the New Zealand All Blacks coach.
Ryan Giggs, Manchester United, 1990/91 to 2014
Ryan Giggs is arguably one of the most decorated players in English football and he swears by yoga. From his mid-twenties Giggs was missing 10 or 12 games per season due to problems he was getting with his hamstrings and lower back. Here’s what Ryan has to say about yoga: “The yoga has definitely helped me. It helps me train every day because it gives me the flexibility and the strength not only to play the game but to train as well. People are always coming up and saying ‘How are you still playing at 37? How are you still playing for United?’ and I say that one of the main reasons is the yoga, keeping me as strong and flexible as possible. I’m a complete convert to this way of training and the benefits to my career have been huge.”
German Soccer Team
According to a German soccer team official “We have had the yoga among our players before the start of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and it is meant to help our players relax and keep their focus because that is what yoga is supposed to do.” For the full article on the 2014 world champion’s yoga practice check out: http://yoganonymous.com/world-cup-german-footballers-yoga-sports-news-culture/. I have no doubt Mario Götze’s yoga practice helped boost his agility and mental focus that led him to score the winning goal that crowned Germany world champions! Check out Mario rocking Śīrṣāsana (headstand) in this picture on his webpage.
US Soccer Team
How yoga is influencing the US Soccer team – check out this yoga video of the US Soccer team in yoga class.
Stephen Gerrard, Liverpool FC
“…I have started doing yoga a couple of times a week as well. It absolutely wipes you out. People who think you turn up and you’re just posing in different shapes should have a go!…”
Dublin GAA Team
The Dublin GAA team included yoga as part of their training in the lead up to their All-Ireland triumph in 2013. According to the Irish Independent yoga was a “secret weapon” and made the team unbeatable. Player Eoghan O’Gara raved about the impact of yoga on his performance: “It aided me hugely in terms of injury prevention and mobility improvement. I also found the breathing techniques very helpful for concentration and focus before and during training and match days.”
Novak Djokovic, Pro tennis player – Male World No.1 (ATP – Jan 2015)
“I had some difficulties with the breathing in the past. I chose to start with yoga lessons and I was lucky enough to be surrounded with good people who know yoga, who are into yoga for a long time. I learnt a lot of stuff. It helped me not just with the breathing, it helped me with my mental strength and the performance in general. It requires a lot of peace, a lot of quietness. I try to do daily, at least one time”. Check out this yoga video of Novak in action.
J.L. Lewis, Pro golfer – PGA Tour
“Flexibility is the most important thing for a golfer. The yoga stretches made my swing longer-there’s no question about it. The added range of motion enabled me to get a better turn and power through the ball.”
Kelly Slater, Pro surfer
“.. a lot of my injuries come from stiffness and tight muscles… imbalances too.. so I think yoga is really great, you know, you can gain strength, a lot of strength, through that, you really focus on your breathing and stuff..”
Holly Beck, Pro surfer
“Yoga is so much more than stretching! I was really surprised by how much strength is involved but my favourite part is the breathing. Being able to be calm mentally and continue to breathe while holding a difficult position is such a great skill to have in surfing and life in general. In surfing, especially in big waves, it’s really all about staying calm and breathing, and yoga is a great way to practice that mentality while also maintaining physical strength and flexibility.”