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Teaching Yoga to Weightlifting Athletes

(1 customer review)


Functional fitness classes are an increasingly popular feature of the health and wellness landscape. Between bootcamp workouts, obstacle course training gyms, HIIT classes, and powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting communities, there are ample opportunities for yoga teachers to work with this sizable and fast-growing demographic of athletes.

Weightlifting sports involve specific and often significant range of motion demands, without which athletes risk injury or poor performance. Similarly, the psychological demands of training and the goal-oriented mindset of these athletes means that they stand to benefit hugely from yoga, both for physical and nervous system recovery. Understanding the movements, common areas of limitation, the psychological impact of injury, and the challenges of working with highly competitive and determined individuals are all key to successfully teaching yoga to this community.

This course is intended to prepare any yoga teacher to work effectively and safely with both healthy and injured weightlifting athletes, either one-on-one or in a group setting, in a manner that directly contributes to their training and feels relevant and applicable to the athlete.

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What Will I Learn?

  • The needs and limitations of weightlifting athletes, including an overview of their training as well as the mindset from which they approach movement and exercise.
  • How to work with common injuries and muscular imbalances, help maintain sport-specific mobility, and rebuild capacity in an injured athlete.
  • Why adequate rest is crucial, and how yoga can be a helpful tool for boosting the benefits of recovery time, both physically and in the nervous system.
  • How to communicate with athletes and their coaches to maximize the impact of your work with them.
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Required Tools

  • Access to standard props will be helpful: mat, two blocks, blanket, strap, bolster if available.
  • Options and modifications for situations where props are not available are also discussed.
  • A downloadable handout is provided.
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Course Features

  • 3.75hrs of online training content
  • Multidisciplinary learning methods of theory (lecture) and application (sample asana practices).
  • Lectures covering the following topics:
    • Range of motions requirements, loading demands, movement mechanics and typical muscular recruitment patterns of weightlifting and gymnastics movements.
    • Common injury sites; the nature of both acute and chronic injuries; typical muscular imbalances; overtraining, under-recovery, burnout, plateau-ing and nervous system fatigue.
    • How pranayama, mindfulness and slower, low-intensity movement can boost body awareness, improve proprioceptive capabilities, aid with recovery, and ward off injury; how to incorporate the more esoteric aspects of yoga into your teaching in a manner that feels relevant to this demographic.
    • Physical and emotional impact of injury; approaches for rehabbing injury, maximizing compliance, and communicating with the athlete’s coach to ensure full recovery.
  • An informative course handout available for download.
  • A certificate of completion after passing the online quiz.
  • Watch and review on-demand! Your access to this course does not expire so you can always return to deepen your understanding over time.

This course is eligible for 4 hours of continuing education hours towards the Yoga Medicine® 500/1000 program and/or Yoga Alliance continuing education hours.

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Course Outcomes

  • Understand the physical demands of weightlifting sports, and subsequently how to help athletes maintain adequate range of motion, and identify and correct typical muscular imbalances.
  • Understand the psychological and emotional components of training, and how yoga can be used to improve focus, mental durability, and coordination.
  • Apply yoga in a manner that maximizes the benefits of downtime, both in terms of physical recovery and nervous system down-regulation.
  • Work with injured athletes one-on-one to regain load-bearing capacity, prepare them to return to training, and provide support around the emotional challenges of injury.
  • Talk about yoga with both athletes and coaches to effectively convey its benefits, and explain how you can contribute to their community’s health and wellness

About The Teacher

Jenni is a ERYT500 and lifelong athlete who has always found a sense of connection and focus through movement. A natural affinity for physical activity has led her to try her hand at everything from horseback riding to judo, rugby, running, riflery, gymnastics, surfing, and various forms of dance. As an adult, she has settled into the meditative routine of endurance running, while her competitive side enjoys the high intensity and variability of CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting. Yoga, on the other hand, provides the thread of continuity that runs through all of her athletic endeavors, allows her to perform mindfully and safely even in high-pressure situations, and balance exertion with adequate recovery.

Jenni has taught extensively in both studio and corporate settings, and particularly enjoys the detective work involved in working with private clients, whether they are seeking to refine their performance, work their way out of injury, or simply feel better in their bodies and daily lives. Her interest in movement has led her to complete a Teaching Yoga To Athletes certification with Sage Rountree, a 500hr program in biomechanics with Jules Mitchell, a Road Runners’ Club of America Endurance Coaching certification, and motivates her to keep chipping away at her 1000hr training with Yoga Medicine. She teaches mobility at her local CrossFit gym and is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer. She is also a lead teacher in the Carolina Yoga Company 200hr teacher training programs, as well as an enthusiastic writer who has contributed articles to Yoga Journal and Yoga Medicine’s online forum. She has also released an e-book on hamstring tendon injuries (the dreaded “yoga butt”) under her Stronger With Yoga brand.

You can connect with Jenni on Instagram at @jennitarma and @strongerwithyoga.

(1 customer review)

1 review for Teaching Yoga to Weightlifting Athletes

  1. Stacia

    Thorough and in-depth course!! Thank you Jenni

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