The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga

athletesguidetoyogaSage Roundtree, a specialist in yoga for athletes, is also an endurance sports coach, a runner, a triathlete, a Yoga instructor and an author. She has writtern The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga, The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga, and contributions to Runner’s World, Endurance Magazine and Yoga Journal Online. Her goal is to help you find a connection between sports, yoga and living well.

“The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga: 50 Routines for Flexibility, Balance, and Focus” is a 6″ x 7″, 160 page, spiral bound book Sage wrote for athletes who practice yoga for relief from muscle tightness. Athletes at the pinnacle of their training may not find time for yoga classes even though it is then that yoga can be most beneficial! Her book offers:

  • 5-minute warm-ups to prepare for daily workouts
  • Strength sessions for the off-season and base periods
  • Flexibility training
  • Routines designed to follow workouts
  • Focus sessions incorporating breath exercises and meditation to improve recovery and sharpen mental toughness
  • The spiral binding makes it easy to lay the book open on the floor to follow along through your routine. Color photographs and reminders about when to inhale and exhale detail each pose. It also includes varying degrees of difficulty for some poses. A fold-out flap on the back cover acts as a handy built-in bookmark.

    The contents break up poses into cateories such as Standing Poses; Core, Back and Shoulders; Hips and Legs, etc. Routines include the length of time needed to complete them and tips along the bottom of many pages, such as, “While these poses are great after a long workout or race, don’t invert too soon after a hard effort, or you may become nauseated.” Shorter routines at the end of the book are meant for “After a Run or Cross COuntry Skiing, After a Ride, or After a Swim, Climb or Ball Game.You can download the Table of Contents and an excerpt here (1-2 meg pdf).

    Our testers used this book after a run and as a sole workout session. The book is easy to follow and the reminders of when to inhale and exhale on a pose are wonderful. Although we expected to see Sun Salutations in the book (and did), we were very happy to find alternate-nostril breathing as well. A suggested update to the book focuses on the photos: If the models in the photos always wore a red band on their right wrist and right ankle, then readers would easily be able to tell which hand and foot were which in each pose. Also we found it odd that on the “About the Models” page there are 3 people photographed but only 2 bios. Tester Betty said, “I like the size of the book because it’s small enough to fit in the front pocket of my backpack, but large enough that I can see it easily while following along with the photos.”

    This book is not perfect for someone brand new to Yoga, unless they have other training to learn proper form and breathing. If you already have some Yoga training and try this book, we recommend starting on page 62 and first focusing on The Breath in Space before each yoga routine.

    We asked Sage what she likes to wear when practicing Yoga. She said, “I really love and recommend Athleta products, and not just because they are my sponsor! My favorite pieces of theirs include the Inhale Pant, Chakra Tank, Capellini Cami and I like the Chase Skort for running. I also really love their cover-up sweaters and tops, which come in various fabrics and thicknesses. Great for wearing to and from class.”

    Follow Sage through some Yoga on Yoga vibes.

    You can read more about Sage on the Athleta Chi website (Athleta is a women’s sportwear brand by The Gap). She has a lot of blog posts on the site, including this one about training for a 5k.

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