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Yoga for Athletes
by Dana Layon, ERYT
NW Women’s Journal, Natural Awakenings, Vancouver Family Magazine

 

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Everyone is doing it – this thing called yoga. Doctors are prescribing it as a natural therapy to reduce stress; physical therapists are recommending it to help patients rehabilitate; personal trainers are suggesting it as a complementary activity to cardio and weight training and schools are offering it as an elective in physical education courses – learning to balance the mind, body and spirit.



Simply put, yoga means “union” – uniting breath and movement, uniting mind and body – being present in every moment – not thinking about the next.



Some of the most prominent women in sports practice yoga.



Tennis pros Venus & Serena Williams and Martina Hingis swear by their regular yoga practice. Golf pros Annika Sorenstam and Tiger Woods, basketball stars Lisa Leslie and Michael Jordan and the entire US Women’s Soccer team have admittedly improved their athletic performance through a regular yoga practice.



Benefits for Athletes
All athletes can benefit from a regular yoga practice – football players, swimmers, tri-athletes, cyclists and gymnasts to name a few.


Increased Awareness
It all starts with the breath. Through slow, rhythmic breathing we become more aware of our surroundings and what is happening within our body. The breath is the foundation of reducing performance anxiety and improving concentration.



Increased Muscle Flexibility, Range of Motion, Core Strength, and Balance
All of these things benefit athletes no matter what the sport. All yoga poses require core strength and stability; routines are comprised of dynamic flowing poses lengthening and strengthening the muscles. By relieving tension from the muscles we can increase our range of motion in our hips, shoulders and spine.


Injury Prevention
Probably the most important benefit of a regular yoga practice is injury prevention. When we are more aware, more focused and strong through our core – we are less likely to get hurt.


Check out our website for class times and get yourself hooked on yoga today! Truly, the cornerstone off all athletic programs!

 

Copyright © 2009, Dana Layon. All rights reserved. No part of this program, manual or book may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means electronically, mechanically or other means without express, written permission from the publisher.

 

Have a comment or question? Visit our Yoga Forum to start or join a conversation.

 

 

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About the Author

 

Dana Layon, E-RYT, began practicing Iyengar Yoga in 1997 and then Prenatal Yoga during her first pregnancy in 2002. In 2003, she was introduced to Vinyasa “Flow” Yoga, a westernized style of yoga guiding movement with breath. She has never gone back to traditional exercise because of the overall benefits she realizes with a dedicated yoga practice.

 

Currently her main program is her Zen Flow Yoga School nationally accredited with the Yoga Alliance. The school offers a 10 month program that educates aspiring teachers how to help others realize all the benefits of yoga. The course includes teaching methodology and technique, postural alignment, yogic philosophy, anatomy and the business of teaching yoga.

 

Dana is also available to speak on a myriad of wellness topics including Finding Your Passion In Life; Benefits of Meditation; Living Your Optimal Life; Making Time for Your Health; Live Long and Light: do YOGA. She currently holds monthly, life transforming, educational workshops in Vancouver, Washington and is available for speaking engagements nationwide. See the Workshops page of her site for more information.

 

She leads Spiritual Warrior Retreats twice a year – geared toward women empowerment and unity.

 

She teaches Zen Flow 5 times per week; prenatal classes once a week and kids yoga twice a week, offering yoga and life virtues to children ages 3-10.

 

Her books, Surviving the Human Experience with Spiritual Intention and Om (AUM) will both be published by November 2010.


 

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