I’ll start off with a confession: I’ve never been to a ‘Yoga for Sport’ class before I decided to write a post on it. There are many variations of yoga classes with target audiences under many names: Yoga for Athletes, Yoga for Runners, Yoga for Hikers, Yoga for (insert any activity here), but whenever I saw such a class on a timetable of yoga studios, I felt extremely curious but also, in a way, not qualified to attend. Yes, I’ve run a couple of races and would sometimes go for a city bike ride, but I never considered myself a runner, let alone a cyclist or a hiker. And I’m absolutely not an athlete.
So, what is Yoga for Sport? It’s a hybrid yoga style which includes a mixture of various yoga styles and basic stretching, spiced up with core strength and stability exercises. The main aim is to help improve performance in your primary activities by improving flexibility, preventing and rehabilitating common sports injuries and improve breath efficiency during physical exertion. Which brings me to a moral of this post: you don’t have to be a professional anything to join a Yoga for Sport class. The only ‘thing’ that’s recommended to be is on time and in comfortable clothes. So let’s dive into the classes.
Yoga for Cyclists with Mel Skinner was my first ever class of this type. It’s a monthly 2-hour workshop for ‘those who cycle or walk on a regular basis’ and you don’t have to be yoga proficient to join. Mel’s verbal cues amazed me: she was walking us through the entire practice with clarity and precision, only demonstrating on a couple of occasions. Her explanations of movements and the reasons why cyclists/ walkers/ runners might find them beneficial were highly insightful and educational. Throughout the class, Mel attentively followed everyone’s movements and offered various modifications. The class was slow-paced with the majority of the poses and movements done in a sitting or lying position. Even though it’s a 2-hour session, time does fly by leaving you with a sense of easiness and tallness afterwards. (The tallness might be just me since I’m relatively short in the first place).
The price of Mel’s Yoga for Cyclists monthly workshop via Zoom is £12 and absolutely worth it. For all additional information about the teacher and available classes, visit the official website https://www.melskinneryoga.com.
Yoga for Climbers with Alex Meade is a stronger, more dynamic yoga class with the most common yoga poses and transitions. The focus of this class was on the core strength and stability which implied a couple of humbling core exercises. Besides core, the emphasis was also on the mobility of the hips and the shoulder girdle. I liked the way various strength exercises were continuously interchanged with more relaxing yoga poses which resulted in a lower perceived difficulty since the yoga poses offered a chance to regain control over the breath and calmness of the mind. Definitively recommended for climbers wanting to build up their core sturdiness while improving their flexibility at the same time.
The regular price of Alex’s Yoga for Climbers class via Zoom is £8. For all additional information about the teacher and available classes, visit the official website https://alexmeade.yoga.
Yoga for Sport with Lana King at The Hive in many ways resembles a medium-paced Vinyasa class while focusing on the core strength and alignment at the same time. I loved the teacher’s innovativeness in the use of props. Many yoga studios have a variety of available props that are designed to help, deepen and modify standard yoga poses. Of course, not many people have those same props at home, so the use of a book instead of a yoga block to activate and draw attention to the shoulder region was a stroke of genius. The verbal cues and tips for different ranges of motions were very useful as well. Each movement and pose was approached in an explorational way and wasn’t hurried. This resulted in a more conscious and calming practice while working on improving the body strength, flexibility and awareness of breath. This class is perfect for an active individual looking to increase their physical performance but aren’t keen on low-intensity workouts.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions! If you decide to try out some of the mentioned classes or if you know of other great Yoga for Sport classes available online, let me know in the ‘Comments’ section or send me an email.