Bearcats Participate in Sports Yoga at Cone Field House

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University student-athletes representing several sports participated in the second sports yoga session of the 2010-11 academic year on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at Cone Field House. About 55 student-athletes attended the event.

The first sports yoga session was held in September, 2010, and involved members of the Willamette football team. The second session was open to student-athletes on all of Willamette's intercollegiate teams. Sports yoga provides an excellent addition to such traditional training regimens as weightlifting and cardio workouts.

Yoga instructor Susan Benner from The Fitness Center at Wellspring in Woodburn, Ore., led the one-hour course designed specifically for collegiate athletes and coaches. Athletes were led through a variety of stretches, positions and resting techniques.

The sports yoga sessions evolved from the relationship Willamette has with its team physicians, Dr. David Thorsett and Dr. Dan Schweigert. Both physicians work with the Silverton Hospital Network's Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Program, which sponsored the sessions.

Sports yoga incorporates yoga poses designed to cultivate total body integration with a focus on core activation, balance, stability and flexibility. It balances the body through a variety of movements done in different planes and angles to challenge the body in different ways. These factors increase efficiency of movement and help prevent injury.

Yoga’s basic mindfulness and meditation skills help athletes develop intrinsic body awareness. Awareness of the choices in each moment, both mental and physical, brings focus to the athlete’s action on the field, as well. A series of movements and mental tools can be incorporated into traditional training sessions all season.


Sports Yoga Session

More than 50 Willamette student-athletes participated in the Sports Yoga session on Jan. 27.

More than 50 Willamette student-athletes participated in the Sports Yoga session on Jan. 27.