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Yoga for Athletes

Yoga for Athletes

Yoga for Athletes

Over the past three decades, professional athletes in the NBA, NHL and MLB have been tweaking their training regimes to help gain a physical edge over their competition. The most recent and popular practice amongst pro athletes includes “Yoga for Jocks”. Physiotherapists from across the globe are recommending this age-old tradition to many athletes of varying ages and sport.

Sarah Colangelo, Registered Physiotherapist and Yoga Instructor from Kick Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine Inc., has been encouraging the use of yoga pre and post workouts to help correct for muscle imbalances and promote overall health. “Yoga can be incorporated throughout multiple training blocks to help target different aspects of physical fitness. Some poses can help you with strength and stability, while others can help restore joint mobility and muscle flexibility,” says Colangelo.

Brett Lawrie from the Toronto Blue Jays incorporates Hot Yoga into his restorative program, while Miami Heat forward LeBron James has been practicing poses since 2009.

James tells The Cleveland Plain Dealer (2009): “Yoga isn’t just about the body, it’s also about the mind and it’s a technique that has really helped me.”

Lawrie says in the Sportsnet article (Jan 22, 2014); “I’ve been doing hot yoga in order to get flexible and stretch muscles. Playing on that turf throws my hips off — so I’ve focused on flexibility. The more flexible I can be, the better my body is going to respond.”

A lengthy season of practices, games and strength sessions can promote muscle stiffness and immobility – leading to future overuse problems and eventual injury. Lisa Messina, founder of Drishti Yoga Centre, shares that “the yoga practice is intended to help one find optimal alignment, balance in the physical body, a keen awareness of breath and the ability keep the mind concentrated and focused.” Enhancing athletes’ performance, the exercise of yoga gives you more flexibility and strength to help reduce this chance of injury.

With this sequence created by Emilie Smith, from Women’s Health Magazine, it concentrates on three phases: dynamic poses that warm up your muscles and loosen your joints; passive holds, which relax the body as you stretch your muscles deeper; and a restorative pose, a critical element that Smith says helps you recover and prepare for your next workout.

Thanks to the article “Yoga for Everyday Athletes”, from Women’s Health Magazine (June 13, 2012), these top six poses can be incorporated into your daily routine!

For more info check out

Women’s Health Magazine

1) Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog

2) High Lunge

High Lounge


3)Twisted Lunge

Twisted Lunge


4) Dolphin



5) Pigeon



6) Legs up the Wall

Legs up the Wall

Sarah Colangelo is a Registered Physiotherapist and Certified Yoga Instructor at Kick Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine.  Kick is proud to bring you two locations in the community of Vaughan (Maple and Woodbridge). We are a multidisciplinary group bringing you a range of services including physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, custom orthotics, bracing, personal training and video analysis. Whether you’re a Sunday morning golfer, a professional athlete or a stay-at-home mom, Kick has the expertise to provide you with first-class care to help you return to work or play, as quickly as possible.

Lisa Messina is known for her unique and inspiring classes combining spirituality with precise, dynamic movement. She teaches Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Pilates classes with great skill, compassion and joy, infusing every class with love and play. She is passionate in her role as an instructor and as a student and believes that her teaching can only be absorbed as intended if her own experiences are inspiring and continuously evolving. Founder of Drishti Yoga Centre, Lisa is currently teaching public group classes, private groups and individuals as well as workshops and international retreats.

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