Race, Triathlon & Lifestyle Training


Blog 11: Yoga and Endurance Athletes

by Lynne Ray (PT, PYT, CSCS)

Yoga is an excellent supplement to the schedule of an endurance athlete, and one that is often overlooked. Yoga increases flexibility, builds stability and strength, all well known facts. Additionally, a regular yoga routine can also enhance mental focus, deepen breathing patterns, prevent injury, and offer a form of recovery non-impact exercise.

Endurance athletes need properly aligned bodies so that they may be as efficient as possible when training for long distances. Thus proper hamstring and hip flexor length as well as gluteal strength are essential for maximal performance. A consistent practice of yoga helps one elongate their tight, shortened muscles, and build strength where needed. Musculoskeletal balance can be achieved through yoga.

Yoga focuses on stability before mobility. Ensuring core strength is a priority of yoga. With a strong, stable core, endurance athletes improve their running posture and protect their hips and back. In the long run this creates a healthier, and more competitive athlete.

Yoga teaches deep breathing techniques, pranayama. Studies have revealed that deeper, focused breath allows one to perform at a higher work load with less lactic acid build up. Which in turns allows an endurance athlete to race harder and recover faster.

Mental endurance is necessary for all multi-sport athletes. Yoga has meditative techniques that will train an athlete to focus during those final miles of a long race. Yoga may require a participant to hold a difficult posture, asana, for prolonged periods of time which not only builds endurance strength but mental endurance.

Considering the countless hours endurance athletes spend swimming, biking and running, the minimal time spent practicing yoga can reap maximum benefits. Yoga should be an essential part of an endurance athletes training program.

ABOUT PYTA-Professional Yoga Therapy Approach:

PYTA offers a unique yoga practice taught by licensed physical therapists.

We provide bio-mechanically sound, evidence based yoga within the pentagon of wellness – spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social.

Reach your individual optimum fitness level with us!

Lynne Ray’s bio:

A native of NC, Lynne received a B.S. in Exercise Science from Appalachian State University, and a B.S. in Physical Therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her interest in active lifestyles and a holistic view of health led her to yoga, where in 2013, she completed her medical therapeutic yoga certification at Professional Yoga Therapy Studies with Ginger Garner, PT.

Lynne uses her Physical Therapy knowledge to not only rehab patients with injuries, but to set new athletic goals for themselves through individualized personal training. Her special focus is treating the young and aged, active and inactive.

In 2004, Lynne’s interest in pregnancy, labor and delivery prompted her to pursue her doula certification from Doula in North America (DONA). She assisted with 13 hospital‐based labor and deliveries.

Lynne worked in Orthopedic/trauma inpatient care and Orthopedic outpatient care for 6 years at CMC, and has combined this experience with her holistic approach to patient care.

Lynne has three children, and is very active with the triathlon community in Charlotte. In 2010 she completed in the Coeur d’Alene Ironman and in 2012 she completed the Mount Tremblant Ironman. She was named a USAT All American in 2010. She’s a proud member of the 3T Triple Threat racing team.

Donna F,  a customer says:

” I decided to take a class for just the basics, and I found the instructor Lynne to be wonderful, she is patient, kind, positive and most of all informative, taking the time to make sure everyone is positioned correctly. I never dreamed I could do yoga. I have not felt this relaxed and energized in a very long time. When I leave yoga class, I feel like I can take on the day ahead with a positive attitude. I cannot wait for the second session to start. I just left my regular MD checkup. The doctor said he has not seen me so happy and full of energy.” 

Sport Yoga class information:

Tuesday 7am

Wednesday 11am

Friday 7:45am

This sports yoga class targets advanced asanas with a focus on breath and presence of mind. This class is much different than your typical yoga class. It is taught by an experienced Physical Therapist offering a hands on approach. We will introduce students to the fundamentals of PYT yoga such as TATD breath, arm spirals, as well as mindfulness tools for the inner game. If you run, bike, swim, play tennis, want to heal or prevent injuries, or just want to deepen your yoga practice, this class will help you get more out of your favorite sport.

Studio location:

301 East Tremont Ave, Suite B

Charlotte, NC 28203


 All Fillnow Coaching clients receive 15% off the 4 week packages!