Yoga for fitness and life
By Roisin Peddle
Yoga Shala, based in Barna, is offering a new yoga programme for triathletes. Building on its experience with high-profile sports players, including members of the Connacht Rugby team and top GAA stars, Yoga Shala will be offering a four-week programme. With the IRONMAN returning to Galway in just eight weeks, triathletes are struggling to squeeze yoga into their intense schedules. The classes run on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6am and began on July 24.
Founder of Yoga Shala, David Cunningham, said that yoga is becoming increasingly popular among male athletes.
“I like to think the stigma men felt about doing yoga is gone now,” he said. “There are so many big sports stars who talk openly about how they practise yoga and the benefits they find.”
Soccer players Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs are just two sports stars who have gone on the record about the benefits of yoga. Film stars Matthew McConaughey and Tobey Maguire have also used yoga to tone their physiques. Mr Cunningham has also taught members of Galway’s Leinster championship winning team.
“I was delighted to see two of the lads who come to yoga twice a week lifting the cup for Galway hurling last week,” he said. “These guys are some of the best athletes I have ever come across, and to see the best players embracing our style of yoga and fitting it into their hectic schedule is so rewarding.”
Yoga can help maintain flexibilty and prevent injury, and prepares the body for more intensive training and exercise.
“Often the fittest people hate it at first but actually it's exactly what they need,” Mr Cunningham said. “None of them want to be sitting on the sidelines with an injury and as soon as they discover yoga helps reduce the risk of that they get a lot more motivated. Ultimately yoga makes for better athletes. They move more easily and their performance is greatly improved.”
The Yoga Shala is offering free yoga classes to first timers as part of its Wake Up Galway programme. Visit www.theyogashala.net or call 085 1573 153 for more information.