Why Athletes Should Do Yoga

Why Athletes Should Do Yoga

📅May 27th, 2015, 15:00

Do you know you need a little more muscle flexibility, but don’t want to go to a regular yoga class for fear that you won’t understand what’s happening or that your inflexible athlete body won’t be able to keep up with everyone around you? While you don’t need to be able to bend yourself in to a pretzel or balance on one fingertip, finding balance between strength and flexibility is an important component of staying injury free so that you can train and compete to your full potential!

With this in mind, we have a weekly Yoga for Athletes class on our schedule with the goal of making flexibility a more routine part of your training plan. Our athlete/yogi Karly Wade talks about why athletes should do yoga and what you’ll find in one of her yoga for athletes class at Recharge (you don’t have to be able to touch your toes to join…)!

When I first started running many years ago, all I did was run. All the time. For way longer than I was supposed to most of the time. I loved the way it felt to be outside and explore new roads, trails and neighborhoods along the way. As I trained and competed throughout high school and college, I battled a fair number of injuries and eventually also dabbled with triathlon f8f2fcd6eb82673edff770b9461f1375training as a way to maintain sanity when I needed to take some time off running. My love for being outside meant that often training runs and rides extended longer than they needed to, and I rarely spent time doing anything to supplement the hours spent on my bike and on my feet. Why would I possibly need time to stretch when I could spend that extra time floating along a trail or flying down the road?

Fast forward about 8 years and a running buddy of mine suggested I try a yoga class with her. I couldn’t touch my toes after all the years of running, but I’m always game for a new challenge, so bought myself a yoga mat and joined my friend after work for a Bikram style yoga class at a studio in Seattle.

I had been expecting the worst and to be totally embarrassed by my lack of flexibility, but it turned out that not many people are as flexible as the photos you see of people doing yoga and that it was fun to learn to move my body in a new way. I noticed the benefits instantly as the breathing exercises we incorporated during class helped me prepare my body and mind for workouts and races and the physical postures during the class left me simultaneously stronger and more flexible.

Since having a strong core from which to move and muscles that are strong but flexible is essential to most athletic pursuits, I quickly noticed a difference from adding yoga to my weekly training schedule and several months later ran my marathon PR. Not only had yoga increased my flexibility and helped clear my mind, it had made training and racing even more accessible via the physical and mental endurance I was gaining from every class I took. It turned out my yoga practice was about way more than my ability to touch my toes.

My curiosity eventually led to a 200 hr yoga teacher training and many additional studies as I became more interested in how yoga was benefiting my personal athletic pursuits, and how it could benefit others as I taught. I believe yoga is an important component of training for all of us looking to increase our sports performance and take care of our bodies. I am excited to bring my passion for helping athletes find the perfect balance of strength and flexibility to athlete focused yoga classes at Recharge.

Recharge Yoga is designed specifically for athletes, and while open to all levels is easily accessible to beginners. There is no need to worry about attending the class if it’s your first time on the mat, this is a great place to start! Each class will include a warm up, time spent learning postures + correcting form to ensure a safe practice, breath work to help focus the mind, strength/core/balance work to help with sport specific movement, and time for flexibility and restorative poses to help prepare your body and mind for whatever goals you’re working toward!

We’re excited to have this class as part of our lineup to give one more way to help make #youbetter, whatever your sport may be!