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The new class “Yoga for Athletes” combines yoga, core work, mobility drills, Pilates and breath control to meet an essential need for the athlete’s body.

“I call it ‘body awareness training,’ because the class helps you get to know your body better,” said class instructor Jessi McMaster. “Any tightness or muscle imbalance is going to affect an athlete’s performance and steer them into injury. Athletes are usually good at training, but body awareness is necessary to keep your body healthy, prevent injury and optimize performance.”

This brand new class will entail breathing exercises, mobility for shoulders and hips, and a relaxation period at the end. By pairing breathing techniques with movement and stretching, for example, the simple but challenging workouts will create body awareness.

“I want to equip people with simple athletic stretches and exercises they can use during every workout,” she said. “It’s also beneficial for the mind, balancing out the competitive mentality that athletes tend to develop. I’m an athlete, and understanding how to care for my body during intensive training has made me a better athlete.”

Regularly training local basketball and soccer teams on mobility and yoga drills, core strengthening and body care, Jessi believes this class is fundamental.

“It’s a free class and open for everyone because anybody who moves their body is an athlete,” she said. “If you’re doing a repetitive motion every day, it’s a sport and you need body awareness. Even gardening is a sport!”

Yoga for Athletes takes place on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. in Fitness Room B. Jessi welcomes any and all questions and participants. For more information, check out www.asirecreation.org/fitness/group-fitness.

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