Personal experience has shown me that yoga is beneficial physically and mentally, in everyday life and in sport. I believe that any athlete, regardless of sport and age, can benefit in some way by adding Sports Specific Yoga to their training regime.
I have experience of working with athletes and sports enthusiasts in various disciplines, and with very different performance aims, all of whom have reported performance gains having incorporated Sports Specific Yoga into their training programme. Eg:
Running - to increase endurance/stamina, strengthen feet/ankles following injury and for injury prevention.
Skiing - to strengthen/stabilise knees following a skiing accident and increase confidence.
Golf - to address a swing flaw arising from lack of shoulder mobility.
Triathlon - to perform to the highest level of performance on race day, incorporating a soft, restorative yoga practice allowing the body and mind to restore, relax and replenish after strenuous training activities, particularly during the taper period heading towards race day itself.
Recently I have been working with an elite level athletics coach who trains an exciting group of potential Olympic and Paralympic athletes, specifically Sprinters and Long Jumpers. His approach to athlete development is holistic and his people are offered a unique service of elite coaching (which includes regular Sports Specific Yoga sessions), medical support and mentoring, to help them achieve their potential. It is really exciting to be involved in this revolutionary approach, and the results of incorporating the Sports Specific Yoga sessions into the athletes’ regimes have been amazing led to enhanced performance; in particular:
Aiding rehabilitation and recovery from injury.
Correcting body imbalances.
Increased efficiency of movement.
Improved focus & concentration.
And, of course, Strength & flexibility.
Sport features heavily in my life as well. I enjoy running, have skied for many years and can sail a bit too. My husband is a keen golfer and my kids are very active – mainly football, rugby and athletics but they will have a go at most things. As a qualified Yoga Sports Coach, I combine my love of sport and passion for yoga, helping other sport lovers at all levels enjoy the benefits that yoga can bring.
YSS Case Study Research: Golf
Aim: to explore whether a programme of Sport-Specific Yoga could improve the functional mobility of a professional golfer, and in particular address a swing flaw arising from lack of mobility in the right shoulder.
Athlete Profile: Professional golfer; age 25.
Conclusion: over a period of 10 weeks I delivered Sport-Specific Yoga techniques to the athlete and devised home practice guides for him.
In his final interview he gave excellent feedback, despite his initial scepticism as to whether real results could be achieved through practising yoga. The experience was an extremely positive one form him and the yoga had clearly had an effect; he commented that his shoulder mobility and stability had ‘definitely improved’, his overall posture was more ‘dynamic’, his focus and concentration had improved too and his general outlook was more positive.
Yoga Sports Coaching Profile:
I am continuing to work with my case study athlete, on a one 2 one basis. And, together, we have set up a Sport-Specific Yoga class for golfers at his club.
I also have worked with clients who:
Run (to increase endurance/stamina, strengthen feet/ankles following injury and for injury prevention)
Ski (to strengthen/stabilise knees following an accident and increase confidence)
Gymnastics (to stabilise and increase range of motion in the shoulders, and develop core stability, for working with the Rings) and all have found benefit from the yoga routines I have worked on with them.
Other Specialisms to offer:
Yoga classes – Hatha, Dynamic, Sport Specific.
Specialist Kids Yoga sessions.
Specialist Pregnancy Yoga sessions.
YSS Olympic Sponsorship
Helen will be providing sports-specific restorative support to athletes preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio this summer.
If you are an athlete looking for support in the run up to the Games, or know of an athlete, contact Helen.