Yoga Poses for Swimmers - Boat Pose

Uncategorized Nov 16, 2020

Developing core strength is considered one of the main goals of a swimming-specific yoga practice. Core strength is one of the keys to having the upper and lower body working in unison. Improving core stability is also an important of an injury prevention program.

Boat is one of my favourite poses to use with swimmers to develop their core strength.

In this blog you will learn how to do boat and variations of the pose that make it accessible to everyone!

Benefits:

  • Increase shoulder, core and quad strength
  • Improves balance
  • Develops body awareness

Cues:

  • Begin sitting with your legs together, knees bent and your heels on the ground
  • Bring active length into the spine and engage your core
  • Place the hands at your sides palms facing the ceiling
  • Shift your weight onto your seat hovering the heels off of the ground
  • On an exhale extend your legs and extend your arms with your fingers reaching towards your toes

 

Modifications:

  • Keep feet on the ground
  • Elevate feet keeping the knees...
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Optimizing Your Home Yoga Practice Part One - Intention, Time and Space

Uncategorized Oct 29, 2020

Do you feel like a fish out of water? 

Many swimmers are still not able to train in the water on a regular basis so home fitness programs have become the norm.

This may be something new for you. If it is you are not alone.

Before our challenges with Covid-19 my wife (who is a personal trainer) never thought she would stay consistent or even like doing online yoga classes. Now it has become a habit and she loves doing classes every second day.

To build a consistency it is important to learn how to make your home practice as enjoyable and effective as possible. 

This is the first in a series of articles where I will give tips on how to optimize your yoga home practice. In this article we will focus on:

  • Intention
  • Space
  • Time

Intention

It is important to know why you are spending time on the mat. Especially when you are incorporating a yoga practice into your overall training program. It needs to compliment your core training not compete with it.

Seven key benefits you...

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The Beginner's Mind

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2020

Since becoming a yoga teacher one of my biggest challenges is practicing in a truly mindful way. One would think that knowledge and practice would help. The practice does, the knowledge not always.

My challenges tend to show themselves in three different scenarios.

Scenario One

I am taking a class with an incredible teacher. They take us through a phenomenal sequence.

What goes on in my mind: Wow my shoulders feel great. That was a great idea! How do I put that into my own class? Will I remember it? Oh yeah breath, return to the breath. 

What were those cues again?

Scenario Two

I am taking a class and the teacher says that figure four pose is a great way to stretch the psoas (it is not). 

What goes on in my mind: Nope wrong pose, wrong muscle. Why are they speaking in a forced spiritual voice? Oh yeah breath, return to the breath. 

Where did they train? Do they really know what they are doing?

Scenario Three

I am practicing alone and my movement is guided by body...

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Becoming Zone Ready

Uncategorized Oct 01, 2020

How do you get into the zone?
 
Each time an athlete performs they are searching for a way to find the mythical place known as the zone.
 
“When you get in that zone it’s just a supreme confidence…”
 
“Things just slow down. You really do not try to focus on what’s going on because you can lose it in a second. You have to really try to stay in the present and not let anything break that rhythm.” – Kobe Bryant
 
The zone appears to be mythical because it is so elusive. George Mumford doesn’t have the answer to how create this flow state at will, but he has taught some of the greatest basketball players in history how to be zone ready.

Last week I listened to a podcast (10% Happier) where Dan Harris interviewed Mumford who worked with legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson teaching his teams the importance of and how to meditate.
 
There were many valuable lessons in this interview, but two that resonated with me...

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Practicing with Curiosity and Awareness

Uncategorized Jul 10, 2020

After a yoga session with an age group team this weekend the head coach spoke about how he loved the way the athletes had to be fully engaged. How the practice required them to be aware of what they were doing with their bodies and curious about how they felt when they did it.

It was an hour of focused practice.

Going on auto pilot when training is often the norm. It is about how to go farther, push harder, but not always about being truly aware or engaged.

I don't want to lose you here.  For many of us training is an escape from the stresses in life. The repetition can be almost meditative, providing an opportunity to let go of many worries and concerns. 

There is no judgement in these words (that would not be very yogic of me ;), I often train in the exact same manner. What I am proposing is ask yourself some questions of how you might do things differently.

Are curiosity and awareness words that come to mind when you think about training? Play with the...

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