Monthly Archives: January 2018

Yoga for Athletes, Sage Rountree

Once again I am headed to Kripalu for another Yoga for Athletes workshop with Sage Rountree. It is impossible stay current with the ever changing, exciting and expanding body of information flooding the fitness world. We need help sorting out the new findings and choosing that which is specific to our own individual needs whether we seek health and well-being or athletic achievement.

Rountree, the author, is prolific. Her books are direct connections to her wisdom and work. I encourage you to take a look.

Sage Rountree is a smart and personable athlete, business woman, wife, mom, coach and teacher. Rountree has put Yoga for Athletes on the map and made her practice and the science behind it available to everyone. She likes to quip that Yoga for Athletes is for “tight and tired people.” Her books are not only readable and easily understood, they provide tangible mentoring for anyone’s individual practice.

As a fitness professional, I consider anyone who intentionally exercises to be an athlete and therefore recommend to all my students and clients ALL of the writings, videos, workshops, classes, and website ( of Sage Rountree.

To understand the importance of Yoga for Athletes, read:

The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga: An Integrated Approach to Strength, Flexibility, and Focus Feb 1, 2008

The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga: 50 Routines for Flexibility, Balance, and Focus Jul 1, 2009 …is a handy collection of practices for those times when you really don’t want to develop your own and just want to follow the dots.

Though I love all of Rountree’s books, perhaps my favorite – or at least the one I go to most often whether teaching or snagging time for my own home practice – is: Everyday Yoga: At-Home Routines to Enhance Fitness, Build Strength, and Restore Your Body Jun 4, 2015

There are plenty more where these came from as well. Rountree, after all, has been there/done that as competitive runner, cyclist and triathlete. See also: The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery: Rest, Relax, and Restore for Peak Performance Apr 1, 2011

Racing Wisely: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Performing at Your Personal Best Aug 8, 2013

Lifelong Yoga: Maximizing Your Balance, Flexibility, and Core Strength in Your 50s, 60s, andBeyond Aug 1, 2017 NOTE: this book is coauthored by Alexandra Desiato, long time associate of Rountree.

The Runner’s Guide to Yoga, 2nd Edition Oct 24, 2017. NOTE: this is an updated version of one of Rountree’s excellent Runner’s Guide to Yoga originally published 2012 – perhaps the best go-to book of them all for all athletes.

To learn more, go to where you will find a post of my initial encounter with Sage Rountree at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. This article was originally published in the Rutland Herald and Times Argus, Active Vermont page.

[All books are available at Amazon or through your local bookseller.]


Whether unrolling your yoga mat, unzipping your gym bag, lacing up your running shoes, clicking into your pedals, or tapping ‘start’ on your fitness computer of choice, what is your intention? Why are you about to do what you are about to do?

For many years I have urged my students to define their goals, be able to explain to themselves just why they are trying to manage heart rate, increase flexibility, build strength, achieve quickness and agility. Furthermore, what is the purpose behind each training session, each exercise? OK, you might be trying to tweak your fuel, increase your sleep, include Yoga in your training – but why?

Of course there is science behind all of it, but perhaps the more significant element might be why do you WANT to do___________________ (fill in the blank)?

Are you seeking happiness? According to Bridget Jones in her Diary, ‘Happiness does not come from wealth or power, but from the attainment of reachable goals.’ (paraphrased)

Each January 1st I ask my clients to hone in on a goal or two for the coming year – specific and attainable. This year the stars came out and I was able to post an entire board of wonderful, meaningful and achievable goals.

There were specific goals such as more ski days this year, prepare for knee replacement surgery, develop a home Yoga practice, improve my golf game, mountain bike 3x per week, improve posture, ride the Kelly Brush Century, hike some of New Hampshire’s 4,000’ers, run a faster 10k.

There were generalizations such as enhance balance, maintain ability to work in the woods, continue with personal training, increase arm strength, build core stability.

I received a card that read: “Live with Intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you like. Live as if this is all there is.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)

This morning I attended a Yoga class that was packed to capacity. It was sheer joy. Our mats were nearly touching and our limbs moved through space with the exquisite awareness of our neighbor’s nearness. Cognizant of each other’s tiniest movements and aware of each subtle nuance and breath, I felt as if I sank ever more deeply into my own practice, my personal and individual experience.

I had entered the studio thinking that my Sankalpa would be something along the lines of practicing more expansively, enhancing strength and balance, moving fully extending my flexibility and skills as I stretched my heart and mind.

And then it shifted. My intention became itself – simply to practice with intention. And to share the 90 minutes with those with whom I also shared space, and oxygen, and the practice of Yoga. Lovely.

As I ponder the concept of intention, I think that Confucius had it right way back when … “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”