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Yoga for Athletes by Tracey Turner-Keyser

New Class “Yoga For Athletes” Will Focus on Preventing Injury and Optimizing Performance and Bringing Body, Mind & Spirit into Balance

Yoga means ‘to yoke’; to connect. Yoga will give us the knowledge and skills to help recognize how we build lifelong patterns that lead to connection of physical, emotional, and spiritual awareness as opposed to lifelong practices that may lead to physical, emotional and spiritual injury.  Yoga has the ability to offer gentle awakening to these patterns and provides the choice to discern between old patterns that may no longer serve us and opportunities to create new patterns of movement and breath.  Because of this, Yoga is not a competitive practice with others or even ourselves.  As an athlete it is critically important to put the competitive energy aside and surrender to what lies within our being.  Ahhh, here lies the trick and hardest piece of yoga – surrendering.

Yoga provides an athlete (remember an ‘athlete’ is anyone that lives to move and moves to live) the ability to learn how to listen to their body and discern the difference between pain and discomfort. This happens by putting the athlete on a path to recognize when to rest and when to push through, when to hold and when to let go.  Once again, when to surrender within ourselves to find our inner strength. In this strength we get to discover our beauty inside and out.

Yoga for Athletes is not only about ‘flexibility’ per se, it is much more about building strength, balance and a centeredness that brings awareness to our ability to know ourselves. Yoga then builds a ‘flexibility’ that allows an athlete to ‘bend’ beyond what one was capable of before. Oh – sound like surrendering? It is about finding what we are capable of doing beyond what we thought possible without injury or pain. There is sensation and we learn to discern between sensation, pain and injury.

Yoga gives one the chance to have a ‘beginner’s mind’ filled with curiosity about what the body, the state of mind, and emotions have to teach in the given moment that can make all the difference between winning and losing.

For me, Life is all about energy and vibration; to be able to access our very existence through the vibration of movement and stillness awakens the very essence of who we are.  In this awakened state we are able to perform at our optimal level and discern between pain that can cause an injury and discomfort that allows us to expand beyond what we had originally thought we were capable of.

Yoga for Athletes will help prevent injury and optimize performance.  Yoga has been able to put this into action for me.  So, I am excited about sharing this with others who also love running, being physically active, and may be feeling the ‘pain’ of too much of one thing only.  Yoga provides the uniqueness of many muscles to ‘cross train’ in one practice.  So, that the ‘athlete’ can find the joy of moving effortlessly.

“Yoga for Athletes” will be a new weekly class on Tuesdays from 5:30-6:30 starting May 1. Tracey will also offer a Yoga for Athletes workshop at Yoga Garden PBO on April 21 from 2-4pm

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