Yoga builds strength and flexibility for student athletes
“Yoga is a blend of physical and mental practices that enhance your body and spirit” according to local Yoga entusiast and instructor Traci Zuhlsdorf. “The benefits are many…muscle strength and tone, increased flexibility, improved energy and vitality. It helps to balance metabolism, provides protection from injury and improves athletic performance.”
Zuhlsdorf teaches weekly classes at Anytime Fitness in Springfield and has taught several Community Education classes in the area. She is now teaching a weekly class at Springfield Public School through the local Community Education program. The class is open to anyone and local high school athletes have been encouraged to participate in the Yoga sessions. This is her first school setting and she has found it to be the most rewarding. There are usually 10-15 participants each week.
In her early thirties, Zuhlsdorf noticed that high intensity, hard core exercise started to deplete her energy instead of giving her energy. After each workout, she felt physically and mentally drained. She started taking Yoga and Pilate classes and fell in love with them immediately. She felt great and was full of energy. She started noticing that her body actually responded better to that form of exercise. She continued on with the classes and eventually got involved in teaching them to others.
In the high school setting, Yoga combines muscle strength and increased flexibility. It also helps to balance out over-worked and weaker areas which protects athletes from serious injury. Since starting the Yoga sessions at school last year, Tiger varsity head football coach Bob Fink and head wrestling coach Todd Bertram have both seen a lot less injuries during games and matches—a plus for the teams and the athletes!
Zuhlsdorf leads the 45 minute classes on Tuesday afternoons in the wrestling training room at Springfield Public School. Although designed for the student athletes, other adults and non-school athletes are welcome to join the classes.