Yoga For Athletes

Physical Development 

Goal: Improve mobility, agility and endurance to optimize physical performance and encourage ease in athlete's ability to move and breath during activity.

Benefits:

  • Improve range of motion and mobility of muscle-bound areas by simultaneously engaging and stretching the muscles.
  • Reduce strain on larger dominant muscles by activating under-utilized surrounding muscles through concentrated engagement, aligment and movement
  • Release muscle tension and counteract strain from repetitive activity.​
  • Strengthen the diaphragm and increase respiratory capacity during activity to increase oxygen intake to feed the muscles and improve endurance.
  • Decrease likelihood of injury through body awareness, understanding and suppleness.

Mental Development

Goal: Settle the chaotic mind through meditation, breathing and asana (postures). Improve ability to focus without mind-wandering or useless thoughts during activity.

Science:

  • Neuro-imaging shows that a regular yoga practice has the ability to change the function and physiology of the brain and the stress response system.​
  • Regular yoga helps to turn off the emotional brain (amygdala and SNS) and turn on the logical brain (prefrontal cortex and PSNS) in performance.​
  • ​​MRI scans show people who practice yoga have more gray matter (brain cells) than non-practitioners. The more regularly one practiced, the more enlarged those areas of the brain were.

Benefits of Yoga and Meditation:

  • Boost brain function and overall mental performance by training one's ability to focus without emotional or extraneous distraction.
  • Develop the ability to filter one's attention and retrain thought patterns to enhance efficiency.
  • ​Improve overall emotional well-being and health.

"As a strength and conditioning coach, I have observed that most athletes have 2 problems in common; poor flexibility and a lack of core strength.  I am always looking for ways aside from everyday stretching and core exercises to improve these areas and keep athletes healthy, so I looked into Yoga.
I had the fortune of having Ashley Rufo work with my athletes.  Her expertise, knowledge, and passion for Yoga and making people better made a huge impact.  She did a great job connecting with the players helping them buy into her program immediately.  My athlete’s flexibility and core strength was noticeably improved. The breathing and relaxation techniques Ashley had them perform gave them an edge mentally as well.  These improvements led to increased strength gains in the weightroom and helped them remain healthy the entire season. I truly believe in the benefits of Yoga for athletic improvement and the program Ashley Rufo can provide."  
- Jeremy Scott, Baylor University Football Head Strength and Conditioning Coach (Former Temple University Head S&C Coach)

"The continued success of our program has been the result of many aspects. Following our National Championship year, we found it a challenge to keep the boys on track and focus on the task at hand.  Incorporating yoga into our routine proved to be tremendously helpful in staying healthy and focused on present happenings and performance in rout to an Interac Championship. Working with Ashley Rufo was enjoyable, improved the boy’s flexibility, strength and mobility, and played a big role in helping us stay focused on our day-to-day fundamentals."
- John Nostrant, The Haverford School Lacrosse Head Coach

"Incorporating yoga into our workout routine was one of the best decisions I've made in a long time. Initially some of our players were skeptical, but they soon found out the tremendous benefits yoga gave them including increased flexibility, muscle strength, injury prevention, stress relief to name a few. As head coach, you're constantly looking for ways to improve your teams overall performance, and we are better thanks to having Ashley Rufo's yoga."
- Rick Sowell, Navy Men's Lacrosse Head Coach

​"My team absolutely loved working with Ashley Rufo! Yoga is extremely beneficial to the athletes body as it clearly improves their physical and mental performance. Ashley is very inspirational and the players always looked forward to the next class with her."
- Joanie Milhous, Villanova Field Hockey Head Coach

ARY Yoga for Athletes focuses on improving functional mobility and sharpening the mind to enhance performance, lessen the likelihood of injury, and prolong the lifespan of activity.