YOGA FOR ATHLETES AT CROSSFIT STEAM
Instructor: Claudia Monteleone RYT, CHHC, AADP, LME
Claudia has been a student of yoga since 1994. With a regular practice and as a teacher, she is motivated to help others discover the authentic healing of mind and body that yoga can provide. Inspired to help others find their strength and explore their edge, Claudia creates a safe, fun, warm and compassionate environment. She teaches structural yoga, which she customizes with elements of hatha, vinyasa, iyengar and ashtanga. She personalizes poses for all body types and abilities within the class sessions, allowing for an un-intimidating approach to yoga. Claudia augments the dynamically flowing transitions of traditional Vinyasa (flow) practice by introducing personalized postural adjustments to ease newbies into practice and challenge stretching veterans. In beginner through advanced level sessions, she leads a series of poses that takes into consideration differences in body composition and flexibility, while emphasizing relaxation and conscious breath, always very focused on proper alignment in order to obtain maximum benefits and avoid injury.
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Sundays 11:45 am-12:45/1:00 pm
This class is designed for the recreational athlete, as well as the competitive athlete. A slower paced flow class, designed with various techniques to address the most commonly overused and restricted parts of an athlete’s body (hamstrings, hip flexors, shoulder rotators), emphasizes on flowing postures that stretch and strengthen key joints and muscles. We will focus on breath awareness while holding some poses over longer periods to release tension in tight areas. Through basic yoga poses, participants will also work towards relaxation, mental clarity, and tune into their bodies. This class helps to not only relax tight muscles, but also anxious and overworked minds, which will aid athletic performance.
Yoga is a great low-impact way to cross train. Cross training is necessary for athletes who do the same sport or exercise routine year-round. Adding new exercises can help reduce injury, add variety and help athletes recover from hard strength workouts. Yoga can be done at high or low intensity and there are hundreds of postures that can provide a workout for any athletic need. Yoga helps the muscles, tendons, and ligaments move through a full range of motion; thus cultivating balance and core strength, which is a huge benefit to athletes in their chosen sports. It can also help you develop better breathing techniques while improving your balance, flexibility, and endurance.
Isn’t stretching before and after my workouts enough?
Even if you stretch pre- and post-workout, you are usually just stretching the muscles in the same direction and plane of motion in which you will be exercising. Yoga goes beyond simple stretching by working the muscles and joints through all ranges of motion, activating the little used muscles that support the primary movers. Yoga can help you recover faster after workouts, opens up the tight areas that hinder performance, improves range of motion, and develops mental focus and concentration.
Quiet the mind and gain an athletic edge!
An essential element in yoga is breath work or pranayama. The attention to breath during yoga can be considered one of the most important benefits to athletes. Learning to stay focused and centered through uncomfortable poses by concentrating on even inhalations and exhalations sets up the athlete to stay focused during a race or challenging workout. The mind-body connection in yoga is essential to helping athletes develop mental acuity and concentration. In addition, yoga helps you to relax not just tight muscles, but also anxious and overstressed minds. Being more relaxed will also aid in athletic performance. What does this have to do with athletic performance? Everything. When you look at the highest levels of sports, all the athletes are incredibly talented. They all train equally hard. What sets them apart? Mental Control! Yes, you will prevent injury, recover faster, improve your strength & flexibility, and gain balance, but the most important aspect is gaining mental control. An athlete’s mind is just as important as their body. Mental toughness and sharp decision making skills are what sets a good athlete apart from the legends. Those that can use their mind to harness their physical talents will come out ahead in the long run. The top athletes in the world recognize the importance of using their mind to its optimum potential. Most importantly… Listen to your body. Yoga will improve your flexibility and increase strength, but it also teaches you to be aware of what your body needs. Add some yoga into your CrossFit or other training routine to remain injury-free. Don’t beat down anything that isn’t CrossFit because you never know how it will help work out the kinks and weaknesses in your next WOD.
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