Yoga teacher Betsy Mayotte, MS, RYT200, NASM-CPT, joined the Tennis Center at College Park (TCCP) last summer to offer classes for members and JTCC parents. In addition to being registered as a Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Betsy also is certified as a fitness trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She teaches hatha yoga with an emphasis on alignment and breath awareness to improve flexibility, strength, and balance.
Rafael Nadal explained how he got past his first round nail-biter in this year’s French Open with these words: “You have to have sufficient humility just to recognize that your opponent at that particular point in time is playing better than you and you have to wait for the situation to change and find a solution.” Yes, tennis is a physical sport, but to win the toughest matches the game also requires mental strength, courage, patience, and balance.
The practice of yoga can help tennis players focus their attention, avoid negative self-talk, and develop the kind of mental resilience that enabled Nadal to prevail and win his match. In particular, yoga’s standing balance poses help us develop concentration as we draw into our core muscles and turn our awareness inward. To hold these standing balance poses, we must continually re-adjust our balance, an effort that brings equilibrium to “our nerve impulses, thoughts, emotions, and very consciousness” (Roger Cole in Yoga Journal). That’s just the kind of mental calm we need on the court to enjoy the sport to its fullest. Experience the effect for yourself. Try standing like a tree this month!
YOGA POSE OF THE MONTH – TREE POSE
Like all standing poses, Tree Pose requires good alignment to keep our center of gravity over its small base of support – the standing foot. To stay balanced in the pose we need to focus and re-focus our attention, maintaining a calm confidence, patience, and inner strength. With continued practice of these mental skills, we can find a winning edge against our greatest opponent – ourself! In addition, Tree Pose offers many physical benefits to tennis players, including opening and stretching the hips, thighs, torso and shoulders. The pose also strengthens ankles, calves and thighs and can remedy flat feet.
To experience Tree Pose and other yoga postures and breathing techniques, join us on Monday evenings for yoga classes, a benefit for members of the TCCP community. You will develop your own safe, enjoyable, and transformative practice. We hope to see you on the mat soon!
Yoga classes are offered on Monday evenings in the TCCP yoga studio:
Intermediate Yoga (6:00 to 7:00 PM)
For those with some yoga experience.
Welcoming Yoga (7:00 to 8:00 PM)
For those who are new to yoga or who want to review basics.
Come join us and experience the benefits for yourself!
Betsy offers weekly yoga classes for TCCP members and JTCC parents and players. She feels right at home at TCCP, having spent much of her life around professional tennis in the Mayotte family. Her teaching reflects that experience and her love of tennis. Whatever their level, she encourages her yoga students with the words of Arthur Ashe: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Betsy is a regular contributor to the ALL ACES blog. You can contact her at email@example.com.