Avoid injury in the sporty season!

European Football is ON and Wimbledon is fast approaching….

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It’s that time of year where we feel inspired by all of those wonderful athletes to get on the court, pitch or track and take part.  If like me your body isn’t used to this kind of excursion it’s important to take extra care of yourself!  Yoga can help you to restore natural motion in the body as well as creating length in some of those tighter areas.  A regular practice can also facilitate muscle recovery in some cases.   Why not come to a Vinyasa Flow class with me in Brighton and Hove to build a yoga practice to complement your training?
Here are three postures that I think are fantastic to compliment your summer movements…

TENNIS

Look after your serve by incorporating cow face (gomukhasana) arms into pre/post routine. One of the most mobile joints in the body is the shoulder.   A mobile joint can be vulnerable to injury because it is often less stable, so ensure that you include both strengthening and stretching into your practice. Have a go at gomukhasana arms below on both sides and if you find yourself unable to clasp the hands why not use your racket.

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To get into gomukhasana arms…

  • Right arm at 12 o clock, left arm at 6 o clock behind you.
  • Bend the top arm and place your palm on the back of your heart. This shoulder blade draws up towards the elbow.
  • Bend the left arm and place the palm towards the back of the heart. This shoulder blade moves down towards the elbow.-Use the racket, your top or clasp the hands.
  • Keep the arms close to the body

FOOTBALL

Focus and balance!  Why not add tree pose (vrksasana) into your daily routine?  It helps us to engage the core of the body (this is not your abs!)  and it improves balance as we stand on one leg.   Why not challenge yourself and close the eyes as you do the pose.  Steady and strong as you dance in the wind. Make sure to do this one on both sides to stretch the hips, strengthen the ankles and calves and improve coordination.

To get into vrksasana…
-Stand firm through one leg and draw the opposite knee into the chest.
-Open the hip so that the knee moves away from the body (this will protect the knee) and then place the sole of the lifted foot onto the inner thigh or calf.  Avoid the knee.
-Hands in prayer or raise them up and tailbone lengthens (not tucks!)

RUNNING

This one is a treat!  I’m not sure what it’s called and I’m certainly not going to try and give it a sanskrit name so let’s call it fallen dead pigeon.  The outer hip, lower back and IT band will feel a sense of ease and release in this one.  You can also play around with moving the top knee in towards and away from the floor to find that sweet spot.

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To get into fallen dead pigeon  …

  • Get yourself into this one by lying on the back with knees bent.
  • Cross the right ankle over the left knee. This is the picture above.  From there….
  • Keep this shape and drop both legs to the left so the sole of the right foot comes into contact with the floor. You can release your arms into a T shape to bring a little rotation into the spine.
  • Make sure you do both sides and soften into the pose.  Soften the top leg hip to release the lower back.

Remember, none of this matters if the breath doesn’t accompany the movement to facilitate connection and opening. If you are working with injuries always seek advice from your yoga teacher before practicing.


Sarah teaches Vinyasa Flow in Brighton and Hove – check the schedule for class times, workshops & events.

SARAH WILLIAMS