Many athletes avoid yoga class because they think it's too slow, boring or just for flexible people. During the pre-season and race season, most athletes compete and train 15 to 30 plus hours per week. That's a lot of mileage and stress being put on their minds and bodies. Aside from feeling disinterested in yoga, many athletes are juggling many different activities. Between work, family and sports-specific training, many athletes don't have time
for long yoga classes.
The good news is athletes can enjoy the benefits of yoga in less time and without the awkward poses. Athletes can benefit from yoga because it reduces recovery time while improving performance. Yoga also prevents overuse injuries and imbalance.
The offseason is a great time for athletes to experiment by adding yoga
to the routine. Athletes can practice at home or do a few poses before or after a training session. Many poses can even be done with sneakers on.
"The Flexible Warrior: Athletic Yoga" DVD series combines total body and core strength exercises with active flexibility for the ultimate time-efficient, cross training workout for the multi-sport athlete who thinks stretching is boring. Yoga athlete Karen Dubs, a registered yoga teacher, runner and triathlete, created this straight forward athletic approach to yoga. The poses integrate functional strength and flexibility, which is ideal for athletes who want to improve performance in the offseason.
"'The Flexible Warrior: Athletic Yoga's format is challenging and appeals to an athlete's competitive side, yet offers the benefits that come with flexibility, recovery and restoring the mind and body," says Dubs. "It's all about the balance of opposites, which is the concept behind being a Flexible Warrior ...creating strength that is flexible, adaptable and able to bend without breaking."
Whether you're a professional football player, a triathlete
or a recreational runner, yoga can help you get an edge in your sport. "Finding the right style of yoga to match your goals and personality is a lot like Goldilocks and the three bears," says Dubs. "Some formats are too hot, too cold, too slow, too fast ... Fellow athletes helped me create this format that would appeal to athletes," says Dubs.
Hollie Kenney, pro triathlete and USA Triathlon Coach, is featured in all three of Dubs' videos and is one of many athletes who provided feedback.
"As a coach, I think all athletes should incorporate yoga into both their in season and off season training," says Kenney. "This athletic style of yoga is exactly what we need to offset muscle imbalance and overuse injury that plague so many of us. I wish I had started it years ago."