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Yoga for the Everyday Athlete

Everyday Athlete :

A person who prioritizes a healthy and physically active lifestyle in order to live life to the fullest.

I started my yoga career in LA in 2001, but I had known about yoga and been practicing off and on since I was a kid. A few years into it, I injured my hip in a photo shoot for Yoga Journal and found a great, and turns out world famous, trainer, Tom Magee, who specialized in injury recovery and performance enhancement. I started lifting light weights at the famed Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach because if I’m going to try something, I want to go where the professionals go. I am and have always been really flexible - which sounds like a good thing, but, if your joints are flexible but not stable, meaning the muscles that support your joints are not strong enough to keep bones where they need to be, or if you are the opposite and your muscles are super tight and you don’t have a lot of mobility in your joints, you are incredibly prone to injury. At some point during our time together, Tom mentioned that what I was going through was common among athletes. 

WHAT? I thought, YOU, a world record holder for the heaviest deadlift EVER lifted think I’m an athlete? I was shocked. I mean sure I was sporty in high school, I ran cross country, played soccer and tennis and volleyball, none that well really, but after high school I just exercised like a normal person, rode my bike everywhere because I didn’t have a car, and did yoga 3-5 times a week. It never dawned on me that I could consider myself an athlete because I live an athletic lifestyle. I thought that was a term restricted to people who compete. Working my body is something I like doing. It keeps me sane(ish) and is a major contributing factor to how I feel about myself. 

Why am I telling you all this? Because I want to plant the seed that you too may consider yourself an athlete if you work out regularly. If you go to the mat or the gym or maybe just hit the streets to walk, bike or run and push yourself to be better you are an athlete. And as an athlete, you probably get sore and tight, and are getting more and more prone to injury the harder you push and the older you get. What you need is yoga. My yoga.

If you’re like me, a bit of an adrenalin addict, you might find traditional yoga to be boring. It’s slow and who has 1-2 hours a day to blow on stretching?? I’m here to tell you that It doesn’t have to be like that.

I have always used yoga to heal injuries caused by my athletic lifestyle - literally from the age of 15 when I compressed my spine jumping off a 70 foot waterfall. I was so hurt I couldn’t even move or get out of bed for three days and had to drop out of all my sports for the rest of the year. I was told I would probably never run comfortably again and came back to win the Scholar Athlete award the next year. Because of YOGA.

After College I was in a head on collision and had to be cut out of my burning car. The accident cut my right leg nearly in half at the knee. My knee cap shattered into 47 pieces and my patella tendon was completely severed. Again I was told I would never be able to run again nor be able to bend my knee 90 degrees. I had to wear a metal enforced leg brace for 7 months, which is how long it took me to physically force my knee to bend again so I could safely walk without support. My leg atrophied into skin and bone. But because I knew about yoga, I did all my own physical therapy and now it’s like it never happened. (cool scar though)

Since then I have landed sponsorships for my athleticism in yoga. Companies like NIKE, Lululemon, Marika Clothing and Alternative Apparel have all chosen me to be their ambassadors. I could have been forever in a state of imbalance and discomfort if I hadn’t been introduced to yoga by my dad all those years ago.

Yoga is not just for yogis. It is the most superior physical and mental therapy there is because it addresses imbalances in the body, cultivates deep core strength and stamina while training the body to move better. No matter what your sport is - whether it’s surfing or football or speed walking, yoga is going to make you better at it. And if you sport requires mental focus, there is absolutely nothing that will help you more.

Bend with me and you will discover increased performance in everything you do - both on and off the mat. And if you have a specific need or goal, just let me know and I can create an intelligent, specified, and captivating program just for you. All you need is 15 minutes a day to see results. Give me an hour and they will happen faster. Either way, if you want to live a long, active and healthy life, do yoga.

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