Joga is an athletic based style of yoga that incorporates a unique blend of postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation tools to find balance in strength and flexibility, improve breath control/recovery and maintain a calm mind in sport and in life.
It focuses on the mechanics and movements of a sport and designs a yoga program specifically to enhance athletic performance for that activity. The sessions will leave you feeling stronger, more flexible and re-energized as well as provide you with all the other physiological and psychological benefits of yoga.
Athletes and active individuals are always looking for ways to become more competitive in their sports and stay injury free – Joga is growing rapidly to respond to this exciting niche. Athletes are often both results based and achievement oriented people, so they want to feel and see results while also understanding the reason behind what they are doing.
The Joga sequence is designed in a way to follow the pattern of a fitness regime but still adhere to the sequencing of the traditional yoga session. Each movement has a specific que and a physical or mental benefit associated with it. Joga takes into consideration what athletes require in a training program, structure, challenge and results.
The Joga Series involves a combination of dynamic and static stretches as opposed to traditional long holds. The movements within the postures are designed to improve athletic ability and agility as well as coordination with breath pattern. The movements are intended to build muscle memory, a balance of joint stability/mobility and increased range of motion, all pertinent to injury prevention. The breathing and relaxation techniques are more traditional, however explained in a way that resonates with the athletic mind and highlights the benefits most pertinent to athletes.
One technique that is highlighted in the teacher training program is the integration of core/breath function and how the two are interdependent on each other and pertinent for athletes in terms of agility/power and injury prevention.
Example: While in the first downward facing dog of the Segment One, the focus is put on lifting the pelvic floor wall (PC –pubococcygeus muscles) at the top of the inhale breath and engage the transverse abdominal wall at the bottom of the exhale. These intrinsic muscle movements are explained in a static hold so the practitioner can begin to feel these subtle core movements without having to coordinate any kind of movement. While the practioner is holding this first downward facing dog, we start to introduce the theory of muscle memory and how to weave this practice of core/breath integration into the rest of the series: so moving forward every breath/movement has a core reaction. In theory, the practioner is able to take this practice, which eventually becomes innate and use the application for movement in sport.
A second technique that is infiltrated into the Joga Program is how to use the breath as a tool for relaxation during movement to reduce the chance of injury in sport. Throughout the series, while the body is being challenged physically, there are specific sound ques to relax the Jaw to ensure that the spine and the muscles surrounding the joints are relaxed. In addition to this – belly breathing is promoted in specific areas of the series, to elicit relaxation. The para-sympathetic nerves connect at the bottom of the abdominal wall and through specific nerve patterns, connect to the right brain –which is responsible for the ‘relaxation response’. Most non-impact injuries are enhanced when there is tension surrounding the joints and muscles. When the body is tense, the muscles become tense and the bones clench together which creates more opportunity for injury.
As a certified Joga teacher you will become a part of the Joga team of instructors that are working with professional and amateur athletes as well as active individuals across all sports and in diverse venues. Working with the Joga team will present new opportunities for teaching and specialization while also connecting you to the teams, athletes and individuals wanting to practice Joga. Joga is a special style that requires instructors that are already skilled in yoga practices requiring 200hr Certification, which is essential foundation to be able to focus on understanding the unique Joga ques and goals of the movement. They teach the methodologies and movements that are specific to this unique style of yoga.
Certified Joga teachers are passionate about the Joga philosophy and are excited to represent Joga with the same integrity and enthusiasm that it was created. Joga Ambassadors are motivated, inspirational and exude a sense of health and well-being.
Organizations such as the Calgary Stampeders, Toronto Argonauts and the Olympic Men’s Beach Volleyball team have incorporated the Joga program into their training and Jana also works with NHL and OHL players during off-season.