I'm a qualified adult & children's Yoga teacher, and Nutrition and Health Coach, and am so delighted to share with you something I have always been interested in. My plan after completing a 1-year certificate in Business Studies, followed by a 3 year Bachelor of Science in Computing in Software Development, and
working in IT with Hewlett-Packard Galway Ltd, NetFort Technologies, and Rapid7 for over 15 years, has always been to go back for a second degree and qualify as a Registered Nutritionist Therapist, as for my Wellness business I feel this completes it. My business is called Aisling Brennan Wellness https://www.aislingbrennanwellness which I started up at the start of 2022. I will gratefully offer any advice to get you started on your wellness journey, get you strong and healthy and reach your full potential.
It is not easy being an athlete or a sports team player in Irish society. With a vast amount of information available from social media and constant peer pressure, our children, teenagers, and adults across golf, GAA, Camogie, LGFA, soccer, rugby, and so on has a lot to deal with on an emotional, mental, and physical level.
According to the GAA, some of the most common injuries amongst players are groin strain, ankle injury, PCL and ACL knee injury, and collateral ligament injuries, and I'd like to think a regular yoga practice will prove invaluable to help the players & athletes achieve the best possible result; with minimal injuries, which can relax, stretch or build muscle strength; as well as postures and poses and remedial exercises to further aid recovery or enhance sports performance.
The benefits of Yoga for athletes, and sports performance
- No age limits, the class is suitable for beginners and can be attended by those who have never practiced yoga before.
- To open all the major joints (e.g. hips, knees, and ankles) and relax the muscles (e.g. glutes, hamstrings) of the body, the class is for tightness in your back, and tense and knotted muscles.
- To lengthen your career, prevent injury, aid recovery, and give strength, suppleness, and flexibility to play and train better.
- To prevent fatigue, negative effects of being muscle-bound, missing training or important games, to feel good after you’ve done it.
- Increase stride length
- Lower resting heart rate and increases VO2 max
- Supports athlete's mental health and well being
- Develops determination and self-discipline
Whether I am jogging with South Galway Athletics Club or training for my annual Lough Cutra Triathlon, having played with Ardrahan Camogie Club, rehabilitating after a broken ulna bone in my wrist, a broken collar bone, meniscus surgery keyhole, reconstructive ACL surgery, or just want to be able to bounce on the trampoline with my nieces and nephews, incorporating Yoga & Zen Mindfulness Meditation into my regular exercise and movement routine is important and offers huge benefits such as immune support and weight management, eating well, sleeping well, destress and calm the mind.
It has been revealed that Rory McIlroy, Lionel Messi, the Connacht rugby team, Galway hurlers, footballers, and Camogie squads amongst many others are no longer training the traditional way, as in - no stretching whatsoever, laps and more laps and sprinting and a bit of game during training. For people playing sports that have never had any major injury, are fairly fit, and can generally play through the year uninjured Yoga is vital for two reasons:
1. It can be in your twenties, thirties, forties, or whatever age you can to keep playing allow you to play, train and compete at best by not only looking after injuries but also preventing any twinges or unnecessary pulls and strains that eventually slow us up. and
2. Nutrition and diet, and type of training aside, most pitch grounds go through 3 seasons of change in that and the weather and seasons and underfoot conditions are soft, wet, then hard, rock hard, then soft wet, and sludgy again. All, in one season. This, along with a lot of the running and, if only ball work, adds up over a year, and even the fittest of players can pull something and be absent from a game/s for weeks.
Please see below an example of what a 60-min yoga session comprises of:
0-10min Breathing exercise - a technique that encourages using the full capacity of the lungs (full yogic breath) and triggers the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response), suitable for complete beginners. The majority of players have a habit of shallow breathing, this exercise will help participants develop a healthy breathing pattern which in turn will increase focus, concentration, and overall wellbeing.
10-25min Warming up including anti-rheumatic, digestive/abdominal, and shakti bandha asanas - focusing on the joints, involving a lot of circular movements (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, neck) as well as spinal movements.
25-40min Strengthening including an intermediate group of balancing asanas - movements and poses that help tone up core muscles, legs, arms, and shoulders.
40-50min Stretching - calf muscles, anterior and lateral muscles, shin, hamstrings, adductors, quads, IT band, foot, forearm, palm, tennis elbow, targeting hip flexors, shoulders, and neck.
50-60min Guided Zen Mindfulness Meditation and resilience plan for the week ahead.
I suggest for a sports team to have one class in private and if you need me to come to your clubhouse or gym when you feel you need it after that through the season that is grand. I will take a record of who and how many times they come in for the manager of the team.
Of course, one class per person will only do a little, but you`ll often find that 30% of players will need this all the time and the other 70% should be doing it regularly, though not as regular as the ones who may be stiffer, that bit older, or good skillful players though injury prone or less athletic.
If you or someone on the team/selection want to come into a class, just call me and they may try it out prior to the team committing to a full team class, as I understand the expense on players/teams/club lotto funds etc.
I am open to anyone needing personalised sports nutrition. I hope that you enjoy the classes and nutrition consultations as much as I enjoy doing them for you!
Initial consultations last approximately 1 hour, with follow-up consultations taking approximately one hour (to an hour and a quarter.)
What happens before the consultation? Before the consultation, you will be emailed a detailed questionnaire, which includes, for example, your training log, past medical history, and a three-day food diary. These should be returned to me at least 48 hours before the initial consultation.
What happens during the consultation? During the initial consultation, the first part of the session focuses on information gathering, typically I will ask a lot more questions, expanding on the information given in the questionnaire. I am trying to build a picture of what is going on in your body, and what may be causing some of your current symptoms. After the information gathering stage, I will explain what they believe is happening and will make suggestions for dietary and lifestyle changes you can make, as well as recommend some relevant supplements (if applicable - and rarely long-term). These suggestions and recommendations will be agreed upon by both me and the client, ensuring the client is ready to make the changes.
After the consultation? After the consultation, the client will be emailed a recommendations sheet, which outlines all the recommendations agreed on with the client. Each recommendation will include explanations for the rationale behind the recommendation. Meal ideas and recipes will also be included. I may also add fact sheets, recommended reading, or links to websites.
Sample meal plan for a pitch-based athlete - carb loading
- Breakfast: Oat flakes, milk (lactose-free if necessary), banana, raw honey, milled flax seed.
- Snack mid-morning: butter, jam, and spelt / sourdough bread
- Lunch: corn pasta, Ballymaloe pasta sauce, chicken breast grilled, steamed broccoli
- Pre-training snack: brown bread & peanut butter
- Recovery: optimum nutrition 2:1:1 recovery
- Dinner: baked salmon, roast veggies, green beans, sweetcorn, brown basmati rice
- Snack: rice cakes, nairns oat cakes
- Beverages: water, decaf tea, herbal mint/camomile
I heard from so many of my yogi students that they struggled with starting a yoga practice in the beginning as they couldn't find the time or didn't know where to start so I created an Ebook to allow you to begin with only 5/10 minutes required for your practice each day. The link to Aisling's Ebook will be sent via email.
I’ve got more good stuff on my website, so sign up for my newsletter where I'll give tips on how to develop your yoga practice, live well and eat well.