We've always outlined the benefits of yoga in many activities, such as in our Yoga Anatomy workshops with Neil where he underlies the importance of yoga as an adjunct to cycling and summer sports. Recently, one of our students has shown how yoga can be an amazing adjunct to swimming at the elite level. University of Alberta Golden Bears swimmer, Joe Byram has been a student at Yogalife for just over a year and has already seen the benefits in his swim practice. He was introduced to the practice of yoga by the assistant coach of the Golden Bears swim team, Richard Millns, who has been a dedicated yoga practitioner at our studio for almost two years.
"Through his intelligent application of practice and his deep work ethic and commitment, [Joe] has been able to make some great improvements in his strength, technique and stamina. He's going to be someone to watch out for in the national and international scene for the next three years." - Richard Millns
Their favorite classes to attend are the most challenging, and one of the instructors that comes to mind is Sara Cueva's. Sara Cueva's Hot Flow was the first class that Joe could recall attending, and admitted to feeling destroyed following the session. However the difficulty of the practice did not deter Joe, but hardened his resolve to continue to do something that he knew internally was beneficial for him and his swim practice.
"What I did notice was Joe's dedication, commitment and strength of spirit. The first day is challenging for everybody, but he just brushed it off, and said 'it's okay' because he knew he was there for a good reason, and so he kept going." -Sara Cueva
Watch Joe compete in the 200m backstroke at the Canada Games August 2-17 in Sherbrooke Quebec. Check out the event's official website here. Above is a video we recorded of Joe introducing himself to the Yogalife community as its first sponsored athlete, along with the support of Richard and Sara.