Rebecca Coales shares her story:
When I trained as a Yoga Sports Coach™ in 2012, I worked with a freediving athlete for my YSS case study research. It had occurred to me at the time that I might end up using the principles on myself as an international freediver, but little did I know that I would go on and become a record-breaking athlete!
Applying What I'd Learnt
I’ve been freediving for four years and practising yoga for about the same length of time. I’d been teaching yoga for two years when I started on the Yoga Sports Science (YSS) course. I wanted to get a better understanding of the functional side of yoga in relation to the biomechanics of sport and also discover new ways to work with athletes. My case study allowed me time to study freediving biomechanics closely, from videos of elite athletes to divers in my club. Having worked with a diver for 10 weeks to improve her monofin (underwater dolphin), I was delighted when she went on to set new personal bests in both the pool and depth.
At the start of 2013 a well-respected coach approached me with an offer to train me in the pool disciplines for competition (that’s measured as distance with and without fins). I had few expectations at that point, but accepted as I’d spent many hours working with my club members and yoga clients, and few on myself.
Training the Yoga Sports Science® Way
Using the periodisation principles I had learned during my training to be a Yoga Sports Coach™, along with my understanding of how to integrate yoga into a training regime, I set up my own training plan and got to work. I had a varied training schedule which included grueling hill sprints (as anaerobic training), swimming technique, weight training and of course dry and wet breath-hold exercises. I continued to practice yoga everyday, using core exercises, back and hip flexibility in particular to address breast-stroke and dolphin biomechanics.