Jeff Grace - Owner and Instructor - Swimming-Specific Yoga
- Certified Yoga Therapist
- 500 Hour Yoga Therapy Program - Ajna Yoga
- 200 Hour Multi-Dimensional Yoga Teacher Training - Pavones Yoga Centre
- 20 year swim coaching career
- Diploma in Coaching - Douglas College
- Diploma in High Performance Coaching - National Coaching Institute - Calgary
- NCCP Level IV Swim Coach
- Author of "Yoga for Swimmers" series on SwimSwam
I began practicing yoga in 2001. I was attracted to it because of both the physical and psychological benefits that one can gain from developing a personal practice. Yoga has helped me improve both my performance in several sporting pursuits and my overall wellness.
I am trained in vinyasa (flow), hatha, yin, restorative and advanced therapeutic yoga practices. I also have 20 years of experience in the coaching profession. During that time I have developed a unique and proven teaching methodology that has help many swimmers and triathletes achieve their athletic goals at every level.
I have now applied that methodology to how I teach Swimming Specific Yoga.
At an early age I discovered a love for the sport of swimming and spent the majority of my time at the pool. I was fortunate to be part of a tremendous age group program in Regina, Saskatchewan which at one point was the best age group team in Canada. As an age group swimmer I was ranked in the top five in the country and was part of relay teams that set several national age group records.
At the age of 16 I developed a shoulder injury that necessitated surgery. After the surgery I decided to start putting my time and effort into coaching.
My passion for fitness and the outdoors has led me to continue an extremely active lifestyle which includes yoga, trail running, rock climbing, kayaking and swimming. With one of my proudest accomplishments coming in 2016 when I completed my first ultra distance trail race call the Knee Knacker, which spans 30 miles and involves 8,000 feet of climbing.
I started my coaching career in Caledon, Ontario at the age of 16 with the Dorado Stars Swim Club.
My passion for the vocation and a thirst for knowledge took me to Vancouver, B.C. where I earned a diploma in Coaching from Douglas College. During that time I was also the Assistant Head Coach of the Pacific Sea Wolves Swim Club, the co-founder of the Langley Olympians Swim Club and apprenticed under some fantastic coaches including; Randy Bennett (coach of Olympic silver and bronze medalist Ryan Cochrane), Tom Johnson (coach of Olympic bronze medalist Brent Hayden) and several more.
During the 1999-2000 season I attended the National Coaching Institute-Calgary where I earned a diploma in High Performance Coaching. While in Calgary I had the opportunity to do a mentorship with elite coaches Jan Bidrman and Mike Blondal. I assisted them with their group that included world record holder Penny Heyns and Olympic medalist Curtis Myden as they prepared for the 2000 Olympic Games. During my time in Calgary I did not only learn from two amazing coaches, but from some of the best physiologists, sports psychologists, biomechanists and strength trainers in the world.
Throughout my coaching career I have been successful in growing and developing age group teams. I have also coached several of the country's top age group athletes and guided multiple varsity athletes to top three finishes at the Canadian Interniversity Sport (CIS) Championships.
Through my writing career I have had the tremendous opportunity to spend time with and learn from some of the best coaches in the history of the sport including; Bob Bowman, Eddie Reese, Michael Bohl, Dave Salo, Bud McAllister, Randy Reese, Rick Demont and Paul Yetter.
During my years in the coaching profession I also worked with several triathletes. I have coached over 50 athletes who have competed in Ironman competitions including Marilyn MacDonald who eventually became one of the top professionals in the world.
The knowledge and experience I have gained in my coaching career allows me to have a unique insight into the needs of swimmers. This insight enables me to develop exciting, effective and enjoyable Swimming Specific Yoga programs for swimmers of all levels.
Throughout my life I have dealt with several health challenges, which include athletic injuries such as shoulder tendinitis, several bone breaks, multiple concussions and a herniated disc in my neck.
My most significant and life altering injury occurred in 2010. I sustained injuries in a car accident that eventual led to spinal surgery. After surgery my medical team and I used yoga as the most significant part of my rehabilitation.
Incredibly in five months we were able to reach the goal of improving my health to a point where I was able to take a 200-hour yoga teacher training.
At 26 I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder. Since that time I have been able to develop and use a wellness plan that has been very successful. A big part of that plan is my personal yoga practice. Although I still suffer from the symptoms of this illness they have become much less significant.
One of the things that has contributed greatly to the improvement in my mental health has been the mindfulness practices involved in yoga. This part of my practice has helped improve my body awareness, which allows me to have a greater understanding of how my symptoms effective not only my emotions, but my physical wellbeing.
Because of these experiences I have gained a huge insight on how to apply a yoga practice in a way that helps promote wellness both physically and psychologically.