Sports Performance

Yoga therapeutics is a versatile system with abundant physical and mental tools to enhance the performance of just about any athlete. Yoga is a powerful, easy to learn, and portable method of attaining peak performance. Regular practice, when integrated with your current training schedule, will improve your mental and physical game.

Bo works with professional athletes in a variety of sports, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, swimming, running, and biking, to maximize seasonal performance and career longevity.

The Physical Game

Many strong athletes consider themselves to be inflexible; however, this belief often results from lack of adequate information on proper breathing and stretching techniques. Using Functional Integrated Yoga, athletes learn how to breathe, direct awareness into target muscle groups, and maximize connective tissue pliability, muscular movement, and joint space.

Traditionally, performance enhancement has minimized the role that flexibility plays in performance. In the current post-steroid era, the functional ideals for many sports now emphasize flexibility and agility over sheer power and mass. Bo’s highly specialized delivery system of Functional Integrated Yoga can be seamlessly incorporated into any athlete’s weight-room or workout routine, either as a warm-up, in between sets, or post-workout, to minimize lactic acid buildup and muscle breakdown.

Professional athletes must perform multi-faceted tasks in narrow time frames; accordingly, core body strength, balance, and flexibility are integral components of performance. In particular, without core strength, the transfer of movement from the center of the body to other extremities will be less effective, thereby making demands on other muscle groups, causing a breakdown in functional movement and increasing a player’s chances of injury.

Bo works with athletes to increase functional mobility in key muscle groups and joints to maximize movement, improve range of motion, and prevent injury. On a physical level, you can expect:

  • increased speed development
  • maximization of stride rate and length
  • special focus on hip flexors, TFL, and hamstrings
  • Functional Integrated Yoga is ideally woven into the beginning phases of speed development exercises (i.e. warmup and dynamic flexibility) and the final phases (cool down and post stretch) to increase flexibility and decrease soreness
  • greater core body power
  • more strength and coordination in both the superficial and deep intrinsic muscles of the abdomen and lower back in a variety of planes of motion
  • better initiation of movement
  • better transference of energy between different parts of the body in order to coordinate seamless movement
  • reduces muscle fatigue and subsequent overuse injuries
  • improved strength and flexibility
  • better grounding force through the feet
  • more freedom in the hamstring-gluteal-lower back axis
  • better hand-eye coordination
  • enhanced inner focus and concentration
  • better ability for control of small muscle groups
  • faster reaction time
  • enhanced depth perception

Functional Integrated Yoga can be taught to groups in a class format, which helps facilitate athletes in learning and internalizing its unique movements and transitions between postures. However, Bo’s diverse background in sport performance enables her to weave this innovative and therapeutic form of yoga directly into an athlete’s training program (during workouts) and to individualize programs for athletes within the team setting, targeting interventions to their specific needs in order to maximize their performance capacity.

Functional Integrated Yoga also works with breath control to improve body awareness, muscle memory, and mental calm. Bo’s experience in cutting-edge breathing techniques will help you both focus internally, and “shut off” the game when necessary.

The goal of individualized Functional Integrated Yoga Therapeutics is to improve the athlete’s Performance Pyramid[1], which has a foundation in functional mobility, in order to build functional performance and functional skill development.

The Mental Game

Studies show that although 90% of the game is mental, most athletes spend only 10% of their time on mental skills. What’s more, the higher the level of performance an athlete reaches, the more he or she identifies mental factors as having a positive or negative bearing on performance.

Bo has a master’s degree in behavioral sciences and doctorate in clinical psychology, and supplements her training in stress management, sleep disorders, and behavioral medicine with more than 30 years of combined experience in psychology and yoga. Her knowledge of the mental aspects of sports performance and her ability to address the mind and nervous system through yoga make her work an important part of athletes’ pre- and post-game routines.

Yoga offers tremendous benefits for your mental game. You can expect rapid results from your yoga sessions with Bo, beginning with:

  • a better sense of motivation and commitment
  • increased mental focusing and refocusing
  • improved visual recall
  • better mental preparation for peak performance
  • enhanced concentration and confidence
  • more acute visualization skills
  • finely tuned distraction control

Through Functional Integrated Yoga, you will fine-tune your ability to get into and stay in “The Zone.” You will learn how to identify your personal obstacles to mental focus, and eliminate the negative emotional “charge” that makes these obstacles feel insurmountable. Bo will assist you in discovering how to remove these obstacles, choose your point of focus, and develop highly effective mental anchors that are targeted to specific high-pressure situations before, during, and after games.

Injury Prevention

In keeping with the belief that injury prevention is a key component of performance enhancement, Bo uses yoga therapeutics, alignment, and innovative isometrics to increase flexibility in key muscle groups and joints. This helps to improve range of motion. Key areas of focus include:

  • Core Body Awareness Retraining (including the obliques, iliopsoas, and deep intrinsic core muscles)
  • Balancing Work and Foot Alignment to counteract pronation, supination, and knee strain
  • Quadriceps
  • IT Band
  • The Hamstrings, Glutes, and QL Axis
  • Hip Flexors (including the psoas) and TFL
  • Adductors (groin)
  • Shoulder-Pectoral Junction

Injury Rehabilitation

Bo’s understanding of functional mobility and strength and her experience working in tandem with Strength and Conditioning Coaches, plus her attention to alignment and innovative use of isometrics, makes Functional Integrated Yoga a powerful adjunct to rehabilitation therapies, particularly for shoulder, wrist, elbow, hamstring, knee, and back injuries.

Balancing the Nervous System

In athletic performance, it is important to prepare the nervous system to operate at its highest level, and also to ‘reboot’ an athlete’s system after games or high-pressure performance situations. Bo uses Restorative Yoga Therapeutics (which includes a blend of breathing tools and therapeutic restorative yoga postures) as an adjunct to performance enhancement.

This helps to relax and balance the nervous system so that your natural talent and ability to focus can emerge. Restorative Yoga Therapeutics helps to reinforce muscle memory, deepen mental calm, facilitate relaxation, and promote restful sleep. It is also a highly effective means of immune system enhancement, and promotes injury rehabilitation.

[1] Cook, G., Burton, L. and Fields, K. The Functional Movement Screen and Exercise Progressions Manual