The video above is a part of a series of six yoga and meditation classes that are designed for athletes with a special focus on mental health.
The six classes have three different focuses:
One yoga class and one meditation class will be centred around each of these concepts.
All of these classes have been created to assist athletes improve their mental wellness and to support the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative
Click her to find out how you can support the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative.
To excel in sport an athlete must be disciplined, focused, hard working, dedicated and continually look for new ways to improve their performance. All of these characteristics can be seen as extremely positive and beneficial life skills. They are qualities that should be taught, promoted and embraced.
Although the positive qualities listed above can lead to great success they have the potential to create unhealthy ways of thinking. Many athletes have a hard time getting out of the performance mindset, which can lead to being overly self-critical as well as having a lack of self-acceptance and self-compassion.
Developing a mindful practice such as yoga and meditation can help athletes develop greater self-compassion and self-acceptance, which has the potential to greatly improve their mental health.
The following explanation and video about mindful self-compassion was published by Athletes Connected:
Mindful self-compassion is a skill rooted in the idea of accepting who you are. This means accepting the good and bad, the success and failure. Mindful self-compassion teaches us how to take a step back from a situation, understand that nobody is perfect, and learn to love and accept ourselves for our imperfections. The first step to utilizing mindful self-compassion is understanding that everyone experiences failure. For many of us, when faced with failure, we immediately judge, criticize, and think negatively about ourselves. The goal of mindful self-compassion is to better respond to ourselves and our failings with kindness and self-understanding.
This first short yoga class is a gentle and more restorative class that focuses on mindfulness self-compassion.
Mental Health for Athletes
Click here to read more in our Mental Health for Athletes series of article.
The yoga classes in this series are taught by Jeff Grace is a registered yoga therapist.
Jeff holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College-New Westminster, BC) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute – Calgary, Alberta). He has a background of over 20 years coaching both swimmers and triathletes.
At the age of 26 Jeff was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder you can read more about his story here.
You can find out more about Jeff at www.excelwithgrace.ca and www.swimmingspecificyoga.com
The meditation classes in this series are taught by Eliza Jane who received her Masters in Integrative Health from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Growing up, she played hockey on the national and collegiate level and is passionate about bringing mindfulness and self-compassion practices to athletes of all levels.
She lives in Vancouver, BC where she works as a wellness coach, meditation teacher, and group fitness instructor. To learn more about Eliza, visit her website at www.livewhereyourfeetare.com