From footballers to runners and triathletes; there is a growing interest in yoga among athletes. They are looking to yoga teachers to help them keep their bodies injury-free and to sharpen mental focus. However, there is a difference between the average yoga enthusiast and a fully focused athlete. The athlete generally has no ambition to “make progress” in their yoga practice; their ambitions are elsewhere, and probably much harder to achieve.

This 5-day intensive training is a follow up to 2016’s highly acclaimed Yoga for Sports course which was fully booked. You can view a clip from last year’s training here. Jim Harrington is an Australian based in Cape Town. He has 20 years yoga teaching experience, holds a diplomas in Remedial Therapies and Sports Therapies, and has years of experience with professional athletes. His background includes a stint as the Yoga Coach to the Indian National Cricket team in a bid to improve fitness and mental focus and 2 seasons touring India with the Delhi Daredevils IPL team.

This course will offer you the skills to work more effectively and safely with athletes and to understand the mechanics of yoga in a sport’s context. If you are a yoga teacher, a personal trainer, coach or a movement therapist working with soft tissues, then this cutting edge course could be for you.

Each morning will start with a Yoga for Sport practice; offering physical yoga postures that are most versatile and useful for the majority of athletes. Jim will also guide students into each of the following topics over the course of the training:

The “problem” of generic yoga
Who made up the rules of yoga alignment? Take a closer look from an anatomy and physiology perspective. Jim believes that traditional yoga practices, applied intelligently, can enhance performance in any person, but it isn’t a “one size fits all” method.

There are many myths and “rules of thumb” in yoga; some of these are misplaced or not based on healthy biomechanics. We will explore functional movement as a paradigm for yoga practice and how this fact alone prevents many serious sports people from enjoying the benefits of yoga. Specifically, we will focus on the lower limbs and pelvis, the shoulder girdle and lumbar spine as well as identifying a better way to view “core strength”.

This “alignment re-defined” aspect of the course is a foundation that will be useful to all yoga practitioners who are looking to improve their asana practice and also for sustainable and safe ways to practice. A solid understanding of biomechanics, joint structure and functional movement is essential for working with serious sports people so this is the starting point for the Yoga for Sports practices.

What is the role of the yoga coach? And who else is in the team?
We will explore all the practicalities of working with mid-to-high level sports people and how to work effectively in a professional sports environment. The planning starts with identifying targets, goals, injury profiles, body mechanics and mental state in a chosen field, and then applying interventions from the ancient yoga practices.

One bad injury can literally end a sports career. We will explore yoga as prehab and as rehab in sports, identifying and explaining common injuries and problems. In this extended course we will spend more time analysing what makes up healthy or unhealthy posture, and typical imbalances that develop through our sports and life. We will look at the possibilities of postural correction and management through yoga asana.

Introduction to mind training
An application of Mindfulness with breathing and other breath techniques and the physiology of getting in the zone; we will apply Pranayama to sports, specifically with regard to fitness, recovery, and VO2 max. Practical pre-match breathing ratios and techniques to enhance calm and focus will be taught.

Creating a class plan
A deeper delve into the art of sequencing and planning classes for specific purposes; understanding training periodisation, recovery, pre-event and post-event restorative yoga.

Research Paper
Students will be required to submit a short (800 words) research paper. It is hoped that this exercise builds the confidence to continue working in the this very rewarding field. Specific instructions will be sent via email to students upon registration for the course.

Please note that this workshop counts towards elective hours on the_ Yoga Therapy Diploma

Related Video
Watch Jim talk about Yoga for Cycling
View a clip of the 2016 training


You will receive a Yogacampus certificate of attendance further to successful completion of the course and its requirements

About Jim Harrington

Jim Harrington is one of Cape Town’s best-known yoga teachers. He started practicing yoga in the late 80’s to recover from injuries sustained while surfing, and taught his first students in 1994. Since then, he has applied his twenty plus years of experience to training and mentoring over 170 yoga teachers.

read Jim Harrington's biography

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