Yoga for Athletes

Yoga Classes and Workshops in Cornwall

With Helen’s love of anatomy and physiology, and her personal experience as a competitive swimmer, and as a keen trail runner and surfer, Helen understands the demands on the body sport can make, and the needs of athletes in injury recovery, prevention and cross-training.

The benefits of yoga for athletes are many. By integrating yoga into a training program athletes can:

  • release tension through stretching with full body awareness
  • reduce risk of injury by safely strengthening muscles
  • increase lung capacity with breathing techniques
  • optimise recovery
  • improve performance
  • develop mental focus
  • increase flexibility and balance

Club Sessions and 1 to 1 Classes

Book a yoga workshop at your club, or try a 1 to 1 private session for an individual class tailored to your needs.

Incorporate yoga into your cross-training regime to improve performance – by increasing flexibility and balance, building strength and improving posture leading to better form and efficiency. Help prevent injury by bringing an increased awareness to the body, addressing any imbalances and misalignments and through strengthening muscles and joints. Encourage relaxation as recovery to promote muscle rejuvenation and restoration.

Learning to breathe more effectively will help to maximise aerobic capacity by using consistent and systematic co-ordination of movement with breath.

The aim of physical yoga practice is to be steady and alert but remain comfortable. By developing your focus in this way, will also give you tools to stay in the zone!

To book a yoga workshop at your sports club, or a 1 to 1 private session for an individual class – tailored to your needs contact Helen Clare Yoga via our contact page.

I enjoyed the yoga sessions. I found the glut activation postures particularly useful and have found it has improved my mechanics in my usual training routine. I often get low back pain and this has eased a lot with concentrating on using glut over lower back. - Kyo, Wales, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kite surfer

I was complete beginner when it came to yoga, but Helen is an amazing tutor, and I really enjoyed the sessions, which were relaxed, friendly and a lot of fun. With the amount of miles I was doing it helped ease the tension in my legs. Also I’m poor with stretching so this forced me to get in a routine. - Scott, Hayle Runners Men’s Captain

Must say, this bendy routine seems to have hit the right spot! Feeling 10 years younger! - Rob, Truro Running Club

Helen is a great teacher and extremely knowledgeable in her yoga practice. She always has options if a pose is too difficult or likewise a progression if it is too easy. Each class brings something new and she clearly explains the theme around each session and how it is relevant to certain sporting activities. As a newbie to yoga, I am now hooked and look forward to progressing with Helen. - Sonia, physiotherapist Redruth

Testimonial 1
Helen’s yoga classes have helped me to manage a recurring knee injury, improving my hip stability and core strength, and enabling me to train consistently. I’d recommend it to other runners as a way of supplementing their training. – Colin Snook, Cornwall AC
Testimonial 2
Yoga started as a way to improve my core, flexibility and balance, but you quickly start to notice the mental benefits also, with an increased sense of calm and the ability to focus. Helen’s classes have a great positive effect on both body and mind and I feel better physically and mentally from a regular yoga practice. – Dougie, Surf Instructor, Cornwall

Why Yoga for Athletes?

The benefits of yoga for sport

The benefits of yoga

Yoga can complement any sporting activity and can benefit all athletes in a variety of ways. All athletes build up tension in the specific muscles that their sport relies upon the most. By integrating yoga into a training program athletes can release this tension through the stretch that the asana(pose) provides. The risk of injury is reduced by the strengthening of muscles that are held during asana and athletes can improve lung capacity through breath awareness techniques, thereby improving sport performance. Other benefits include improved posture, through opening the chest in back bends and strengthening the core muscles; increased focus by learning to concentrate the mind in asana and meditation, facilitating the ability to compete in the zone.

Specific poses can aid particular sports because of the specific areas that are constantly being worked: for runners, hip openers are ideal for releasing the tension that is stored there through any of the lunging poses, the warrior poses and pigeon; to stretch tight hamstrings and calves, seated or standing forward bends actively flex the muscles along the backs of the legs; balances, such as tree pose and crescent lunge, strengthen feet and ankles, helping to prevent against injury; plank and other core strengthening asana, such as Navasana (boat), promote good posture, which enhances performance; inversions where the legs are raised facilitate the follow of deoxygenated blood back to the heart, which can then pump an increased amount of blood around the body and provide a well earned rest for feet and legs.

Help prevent injury and improve perfomance

For cyclists, back bends are essential in relieving tension in the upper back, created by hours hunched over a bike, for example fish pose opens the chest and strengthens the upper back; as for runners, forward bends stretch and reduce tight hamstrings and calves but also help lengthen the lower back muscles; arm balances such as Bakasana (crow) improve upper body strength, aiding long hours at the handle bars.

Swimmers need regular all over stretching because the four strokes all rely on different muscle groups more than others. In breast stroke two-thirds of thrust power comes from the legs so standing poses such as Trikonasana and side angle stretch will simultaneously stretch and strengthen the legs. A particular area of focus for all swimmers will be the neck and shoulders. Shoulder stand and plough pose stretch away and release any stress held in the shoulder and neck area.

For surfers flexibility, core strength, breath control and balance are key. All areas yoga can help develop in the body. Focus is equally important, especially when the swell starts to push past the 6 ft range. Again yoga can help develop a strong mental discipline to help in intense situations.

Yoga can complement any athlete’s training program, either as an additional or replacement cross training activity incorporated by attending a weekly class, and then by building up a regular basic home practice.