power yoga for sports

  • 5 Yoga Poses for Skiers with Gwen Lawrence

    After a long day on the mountain, pass on that sought-after hot toddy or libation of choice and try yoga.

    gwen lawrence yoga online

    In any sport, it's essential to be proactive when it comes to injury prevention. In skiing, this means...

    • Cultivating strong legs to endure long, challenging slopes.
    • Building exceptional back and abdominal strength to maintain perfect form for maximum control.
    • Finding more openness and flexibility in the hips to protect the knees and better manage falls and unstable surfaces.
    • Observing and combating muscular imbalances to support a smooth, graceful run down the mountain.

    Yoga helps to achieve all of this. 5 yoga poses, in particular, work wonders to bring your body into a state of equilibrium, so you can ward off injury and tackle the slopes for years to come. Join YogaVibes teacher, Gwen Lawrence, for a free online yoga demo designed to help you complement and counter the swift, high-energy movements on the mountain.

    1. Chair Pose: This pose is the ultimate leg-strengthener and develops the form needed to maneuver through even the toughest of runs. Chair pose also serves to reinforce spinal strength and proper alignment. Gwen’s Direction: Try chair pose holds for 10 breaths. To counter, hold a standing forward bend. Repeat the sequence 3 to 5 times.
    2. Bow Pose: After holding perfect form and keeping that precise angle at the hip joint, you must tend to the hip flexors. If not addressed, tight hip flexors can wreak havoc on the low back and compromise the alignment of your spine. Gwen’s Direction: Strike 3 bow poses for 30 seconds each. Breathe deep! Between each bow, enjoy 3 to 4 breaths in child's pose. Ahhh.
    3. Forearm Plank: Unlike its close relative, plank pose, forearm plank asks even more from your core and really digs deep into your abdominal strength while simultaneously challenging your spinal alignment and body positioning. Gwen's Direction: To be in prime slope shape, practice 3 one-minute holds, paying special mind to your alignment. No drooping of the mid-section!
    4. Chair Twist: Practicing the basic chair pose with a twist will stretch the obliques, facilitating subtle changes in your core that will direct your skis. Stretching the obliques (the muscles along the ribs and side body) will enhance your ability to endure the aerobic element of skiing, improving your control and boosting your lung capacity. Added bonus: Extra quad work to enhance leg strength! Gwen’s Direction: Hold chair twists 30 seconds on each side for 2 to 3 sets.
    5. Rock & Rolls: Before you hit the slopes, try these movements to shed light on where your balance is at. Gwen’s Direction: Lying on your back, bring your knees into your chest. Hold the legs behind your thighs and close your eyes. Do not peek or you will wreck your analysis! Inhale and exhale deeply and rock and roll 6 to 7 times. On the 7th rep, stop in the seated position and open your eyes. See where you are. You may be quite surprised to find yourself facing the opposite direction or on your neighbor's yoga mat! Whatever your imbalances end up being, you'll be astounded by the outcome of this little trick. Trick Analysis:
      • If you pull or turn right, your right hip or low back may be tight and require work (or vice versa).
      • If you inch toward the front of your mat, you may require extra deep hip flexor stretching. Tight hip flexors may cause lumbar hyperlordosis or "swayback" - a condition that occurs when the lumbar region is regularly stressed.
      • If you traveled over to the right of your mat, but are still facing forward, consider upper back and shoulder work (and vice versa).

    gwen lawrence online yoga video

    If you want to keep tearin' up that powder, follow the wisdom of Gwen Lawrence and settle into these poses before and after you tackle the slopes.

    Gwen Lawrence is the founder of Power Yoga for Sports and works with athletes in professional basketball, football, baseball, hockey, and soccer, Olympians, and college athletes.

    Image courtesy of Gwen Lawrence 

  • Yoga for Athletes: Find Your Peak Performance

    If you are an athlete seeking yoga, you have stumbled upon a leading, legit source. YogaVibes does athletes proud, offering yoga classes from a highly esteemed, knowledgeable collective of yogis – yogis that just received a page of visibility in the Yoga Journal. Yippee! We are gettin' those vibes out there!

    Yoga Journal

    These featured yogis are the real deal. If you truly aim to enhance your athletic performance, push past mental and physical barriers, and achieve your highest goals, turn to these stellar teachers for inspiration, guidance, and support.

    • Sage Rountree :: As an endurance sports coach, an accomplished age-group triathlete and runner, a highly experienced teacher, and a continuing student of physiology, Sage knows what’s up. Her popular yoga classes and workshops for athletes draw students ranging from recreational athletes to Ironman triathletes, Olympians, NBA and NFL players, and NCAA players and coaches, including UNC men's basketball and football. Take her online yoga classes to discover ways to sharpen your focus, relax for peak performance, and remain balanced.
    • Gwen Lawrence :: Gwen is the yoga instructor for 5 Pro teams in New York, including the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Red Bulls, and the New York Rangers, in addition to major college teams such as Yale and UNC. She is well known for her sports-specific Power Yoga for Sports classes and training programs and was recently dubbed the "Best Innovation in Sports Medicine" by ESPN Magazine.
    • Ted McDonald :: As a former Elite Adventure Racer and Lacrosse player at UCLA, Ted has been an athlete his entire life. Educated in both Iyengar and Ashtanga styles of yoga, his classes focus on strength, alignment and the breath, in order to help his students increase flexibility, strength, and focus. Ted also offers many forms of meditation, yin yoga, and restorative yoga classes designed to lengthen connective tissue, prevent injuries, and open energetic pathways in the body.
    • Rolf Gates :: Gates is the author of the acclaimed book on yogic philosophy, Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga. He conducts 200 and 500-hour Vinyasa Intensives and Teacher Trainings throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a former social worker and U.S. Airborne Ranger who has practiced meditation for the last sixteen years, Gates brings his eclectic background to his practice and teachings.
    • Pete Guinosso :: Known for his joyful energy, compassionate guidance, and sense of humor, Pete creates a spiritual yet light-hearted environment for his students to uncover the deeper benefits of yoga. Pete's teaching style is best described as a Forrest Yoga Inspired Vinyasa Flow. His online yoga classes are designed to help you journey toward connecting your mind, body and spirit through breath work and awareness.
    • Danielle Diamond :: For over fifteen years, Danielle has been teaching a kick-butt yoga class that focuses on alignment and breath to open your body through a creative sequence, designed to make you smile as much as you'll sweat. Danielle is the founder of Xen Strength Yoga - a modern twist on yoga that fuses a Vinyasa flow with light hand weights.

    Do yoga to discover the secret to unlocking your ultimate athletic potential.


    To access our growing collection of yoga videos for athletes, check out YogaVibes’ Yoga for Athletes page.


  • Yoga for Tennis

    Are you suffering from a bad case of tennis elbow? Are you noticing some body imbalances? Are your shoulders as tight as a drum?

    If so, your body is sending you signals. It’s saying: Beef up on your shoulder and upper back strength, re-establish proper alignment and body symmetry, open up those shoulders, and please….please do yoga!

    Listen to your body and hit the mat to experience relief, improve balance, boost strength, and soak up all the other benefits of the practice. Yoga will do a lot for your game. With its emphasis on alignment, the practice will help to even out any body imbalances resulting from the use of the same arm for forehand and backhand strokes. Shoulder opening asanas will open up the shoulder joints to beat out any tightness resulting from serves and ground strokes. The practice as a whole will increase balance, core strength, and body intelligence.

    Paul Newman playing tennis Paul Newman w/ Tennis Racket

    But the benefits extend beyond the physical body to the mental body. Yoga will enhance your calm and focus by teaching you to deeply connect to your breath. Connection to the breath will help you to stay rooted in the present moment and keep your head in the game.

    To get going with your yoga practice, check out the newest addition to our online sports-specific yoga videos with Gwen Lawrence: Power Yoga for Tennis.

    This online yoga class will address the obvious needs of all you tennis and racquet sports athletes: the shoulders and wrists, and, also, the legs. As you know, tennis is a very active, agile sport. So, not only do you need flexibility, but you also need strength in the legs and feet to get the best, most powerful push-off to change directions on a dime. At the heart of this sport is a strong core. In this online yoga class, you will toughen it up to unleash the champion within. (34 mins.)

    Gwen Lawrence Yoga Online

    Step-up your power, presence, and intelligence on the court.


  • Yoga for Baseball

    Do you want to take your game to the next level? Do you want to improve your strength and flexibility and dramatically decrease your risk for injury?

    Enter Power Yoga for Baseball.

    Barry Zito in Headstand Pitcher Barry Zito (SF Giants) doing yoga on the field via Sports Illustrated

    After years of training baseball players at every level, Power Yoga for Sports creator Gwen Lawrence realized that the two most overlooked areas of an athlete's development were stretching and mental expansion. And that is where the 5,000-year-old art form of yoga came in.

    To cater to these neglected areas, Gwen created a special baseball-specific yoga workout to improve virtually every aspect of a player's game. Each Power Yoga position corresponds to movements on the field. For example, the spinal twist translates into increased throwing power, while lunge twists add hip rotation for hitting.

    Regular practice of this workout will increase the range of motion in the hips to better swing the bat. The shoulder joints will lengthen and strengthen to improve throwing form. Shortstops, expect to increase agility. First basemen, increase flexibility to better perform the splits. Pitchers, create solid shoulders. Catchers, improve balance and strengthen the legs. Whether you are a first baseman relying on the splits to make the out, or running at top speed in the outfield, this online yoga practice with Gwen Lawrence is a necessity for all baseball players.

    In this online yoga class, focus on opening up the hips for a more powerful swing at the plate; improve ankle strength and stability for a powerful stride; and create open, supple shoulders to protect the vulnerable joints and increase your velocity. Used by professional athletes, NCAA champs, and high school phenoms, this online yoga class covers it all! Do it every day or once a week to watch your performance on the field get better every time. Bonus: This online yoga video features all of the same techniques Gwen uses when teaching members of the NY Yankees, including Alex Rodriguez! (36 mins.)

    Gwen Lawrence Yoga Online

    But the benefits of this practice don’t stop at the physical body. No matter what your game is, yoga benefits the mental body. Practicing yoga will help you stay mentally fit on the field. The emphasis on the breath in the practice will definitely enhance concentration power and awareness. Practicing to breathe on and off the mat will help you be in the present moment. On the field, the breath will keep your head fully immersed in the game.

    Barry Zito in low yogic squat Barry Zito vibing in a low yogic squat via www.esquire.com

    Before you step up to home plate, step up to your mat. Get down with some yoga online to take your game to the next level.


  • YogaVibes Partners with Power Yoga for Sports Visionary Gwen Lawrence

    We are incredibly excited to partner with Gwen Lawrence!

    Known as a visionary in the world of Power Yoga for Sports, Gwen Lawrence has worked with clients such as Alex Rodriguez, Amani Toomer, and Brian Cashman (to name a few). Additionally, she is the yoga instructor for 5 pro sports teams in New York, including the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Red Bulls, and the New York Rangers, in addition to major college teams such as Yale and UNC. Legit.

    Half Moon with Bind

    With her unique combination of dance, massage and yoga training experience, coupled with extensive knowledge of anatomy and nutrition, Gwen is able to provide her students and athletes with overwhelming, transformative benefits. As evidence, June ESPN Magazine featured her as the "Best Innovation in Sports Medicine."

    Why YogaVibes?

    "I chose to partner up with YogaVibes because when I saw what they were doing and how they were enabling Yogis to connect with teachers that they may never have the opportunity to connect with, I knew it was for me,” says Gwen. “As a Yoga teacher, you want to touch many peoples lives all over the world. Moreover, when I met the Founder, Brian, I then knew it was a home run. I immediately felt a part of his family and was super impressed by his integrity. That is so important to me to be associated with people and businesses that still take pride in what they do and how they connect with people. YogaVibes is that company, and I am honored to be a part of it."

    We are deeply honored to welcome Gwen to our growing family and offer her sports-specific yoga classes to a larger audience of yogis and athletes. Check out her latest online yoga videos, featuring 4 sports-specific flows:

    • Power Yoga for Sports – Soccer (36 mins.) In this online yoga class, Gwen will demonstrate techniques that she uses when teaching the NY Red Bulls. Learn to open the entire leg from the quadriceps and hamstrings to the ankles, calves, and toes. Due to the demands on the field, Gwen will provide ways to maintain a flexible and strong back that is able to rotate better, enabling you to see over your shoulder to protect the ball.
    • Power Yoga for Sports – Runners (28 mins.) This online yoga class offers all runners, from the avid runner to the weekend warrior, an amazing complement. Practice opening up the legs and holding stretches longer to really dig in and get faster results. Learn to detect and address imbalances before they lead to injury.
    • Power Yoga for Sports – Golf (32 mins.) In this online yoga class, Gwen will shed light on the techniques she uses when teaching LPGA players. Learn to keep your hips and back flexible and strong, increasing the power required to strike the ball. Gwen will address the importance of keeping a balanced, symmetrical body to maintain health. Work your shoulders and wrists to help perfect form.
    • Power Yoga for Sports - Football for Strength & Stability (22 mins.) Different from speed and agility positions, linemen are known for strength and stability. In this online yoga class, learn how to open the hips and find comfort in a deep squat. Address the shoulder joint to effectively absorb great force when blocking. In addition, Gwen will teach easy ways to protect the wrist joint, making it stronger, more flexible, and giving it greater power to push and also protect itself in the event of a fall on the field. Take advantage of all the same techniques Gwen uses when teaching the New York Giants!

    Gwen will also be offering more sports-specific yoga videos of varying lengths and themes, including classes for skiing, football (speed and agility), tennis, baseball, horseback riding, hockey, basketball, swimming, and more.

    Stay tuned!


    To learn more about Gwen, please visit her website at gwenlawrence.com.

    Photo Credit: Gwen Lawrence via gwenlawrence.com

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