Yoga for the Athlete

Misconceptions of Yoga

Here’s the thing. Stereotypical misconceptions of yoga still exist – I base this on what I hear in podcasts, conversations with friends, and certainly by some strength and conditioning coaches, many of whom I respect.

To a degree, I can’t blame them – a lot of what we see on Instagram is pretty pictures of freakishly bendy women and it’s like we physically cringe in pain at the thought of attempting to contort ourselves in the same way. We associate extreme, almost unnecessary flexibility with yoga.

How is THAT meant to help with fitness!?

Back to the Source

Yoga stems from the ‘Vedas’ – Indian holy texts that date back to 5000 years ago. From these also stemmed the religions Hinduism AND Buddism.

Yoga became a philosophy – a way of life – and ancient texts talk in detail about many of the concepts we discuss as athletes today.

Take ‘enjoying the process’ for example – this can be likened to one of the morals for daily life in yoga, ‘Aparigraha’, defined as ‘non-attachment’.

We talk about letting go of attachment to outcomes all the time in training – instead, focusing on putting the work into our daily habits.

Yogic philosophy is a massive part of ‘yoga’ – it essentially sets a foundation to enable the student to acquire tools to be a decent human, something we all strive for in our daily life.

The ‘Asana’ (physical practice) side of yoga is what we all commonly know yoga to be – and whilst bendy poses seem to be everywhere, it’s far from what yoga is actually about.

WHY Yoga and More Specifically, Why ‘Yoga for the Athlete’?

‘Asana’ literally means ‘steady pose’ – like training, if you become efficient at a set of movements, you can move more quickly through them; and if mastering ‘bendy’ postures is a goal then like anything, that’s certainly something you can work towards.

But that isn’t the point of yoga. Yoga practice is meant to create space in the body, through the practice of aligning movement and breath.

I created ‘Yoga for the Athlete’ because I am both a yogi and an athlete.

I saw an obvious gap and wanted to combine the stillness created by a mindfulness practice with yoga-inspired sequences to open up the body.

Still unsure what it’s about? Give it a go!

Follow along with the 20-minute session below – try it on a rest day or after a training session and let us know how you get on!

Follow @yogafortheathlete on Instagram for more wellness tips and mindfulness practice to enhance your training.

If you’re ready to commit to working on your mental game before the ‘21 competition season, check out our Mental Performance E-Book Course, Feed The Athlete led by Brute Mind Coach, Lauren Tait.

This course is designed to transform negative self-talk into absolute confidence in your abilities as an athlete.