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Youth athletes need yoga too

Youth athletes are the number one demographic you see in a physical therapist's office. Their training regime is usually rigorous, specific and often year-round. They are sometimes not taught how to build in proper recovery. Yoga can be one way to treat the youth athletes to a recovery program that is intended to help them feel and help them heal.

Yoga is an incredible tool for athletes. The poses can build core and functional strength, dynamic and passive range of motion and mobility, increase flexibility, aid in increasing balance and proprioception (knowing where your body is in space), and also help to deeply relax and athletes tired and sore body. The component of mindfulness in most yoga practices can also work to help the athlete move through difficult moments in their sport, or in their life. Giving them tools for better self awareness as well as awareness of others. Also, the breathing practices (pranayama) can help an athlete learn to regulate their nerves, slow down a rapid breathing pattern, find more power and get back into the present moment if their mind begins to take over.

Yoga can also bring a team together even more through the shared experience and group activity that might leave them feeling vulnerable and relaxed, different from a typical strength training session.

Here are some photos of classes I taught with the Montgomery High School football team.

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