By: Kay Rivera

This October, Tone House introduced a groundbreaking addition to its Training lineup: FLOW, a Yoga & Mobility program designed specifically for Athletes. Led by yoga-certified Head Coach Natalia Perez-Segnini, FLOW emerged from the recognition that a recovery-focused program was missing from the current offerings – and is a vital piece of the Athletic Training formula. Tone House aims to bridge the gap by incorporating a mobility focused, vinyasa-based Yoga offering into the existing class schedule. In this exclusive interview, Coach Natalia sheds light on the inspiration behind FLOW, its integration with Tone House’s existing training, the unique benefits it offers athletes, and how the program is finely tuned to address the distinctive needs of those who push their bodies to the limit. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a fitness enthusiast seeking a holistic approach, FLOW at Tone House promises a transformative journey towards enhanced self-awareness, physical well-being, and athletic excellence.

Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind bringing FLOW to Tone House? 

Natalia: Simply put, the inspiration for FLOW came from the fact that we were missing a really important offering for our athletes: recovery. We have recovery partners, like STRIVE Total Wellness, and an amazing facility with a ton of recovery-based equipment, but we fell short on offering a movement modality catered towards restoring and preparing our athletes for future athletic endeavors. Enter: FLOW. With the addition of our vinyasa-based yoga class, we can truly offer our athletes the 360 degree approach to athletic development and sports performance.

How do you see yoga complementing the existing training and workouts at Tone House for athletes?

Yoga is such a versatile movement modality. And, it goes way beyond just movement. The addition of Yoga will give athletes an opportunity to slow down and focus on enhancing the relationship with their breath, which will directly correlate to the mind-muscle connection that is an integral part of training at Tone House, and in general. Aside from the benefits associated with breath, yoga will give athletes an opportunity to move through poses targeted at lengthening and strengthening their muscles through full range of motion, dynamic and static stretching. The sequences of yoga classes will directly correlate with the movement patterns seen on the Turf that week, which are designed to help amplify the athletes’ experience in all Tone House classes. 

Coach Natalia on a yoga mat in the grass, performing a yoga movement.

What specific benefits can athletes expect to gain from incorporating yoga into their fitness routines?

Athletes can expect a stronger understanding of their unique body and how it moves, an enhanced relationship with their breath (the life force of the body), a gradual opening up the tight muscle groups in their unique body, a restorative approach to movement, and a opportunity to learn how to regulate their nervous systems through movement and breath (an invaluable skill set that transcends the borders of training).

How do you tailor the yoga sessions to cater to the unique needs and goals of athletes?

As a tenured Tone House Coach, I have accumulated a robust understanding of the type of strain we put our athletes through day in and day out in our strength and conditioning classes. When I design the yoga sequences, I factor in the detailed strength and conditioning programs the athletes experienced in the current and previous weeks of classes. I also make a point to structure each class on a handful of muscle groups that consistently show up as areas of opportunity for our athletes. This way our clientele is able to address potential problem areas in a calculated and safe environment. 

What kind of athletes and fitness enthusiasts would benefit most from these yoga sessions?

ALL athletes and fitness enthusiasts would benefit from these yoga sessions. The thing with yoga is it is truly an all levels experience. There is no right or wrong way to do yoga. Sure, there is an important element of proper alignment that is highly incorporated, but in its rawest form, yoga is simply connecting breath with movement. A moving meditation aimed at allowing the athlete to enhance the relationship with themselves, their body, their breath, their nervous system. This is something any athlete can do. The theory being, the stronger the relationship we have with ourselves and our breath, the stronger relationship we can have with our body. And the stronger relationship we have with our body, the more effective our training will be. 

Can you share some key features of the “Flow” program that make it stand out from traditional yoga classes?

The overall language used in our yoga classes mirror the language we know and hear in the strength and conditioning world, so athletes can quickly understand the proper alignment in a context their brains are already very familiar with. This fast tracks the athlete’s ability to get into their unique bodies and translate the communication from their brain to their body, which facilitates the movement they’re doing. There is an element of athletic mobility training that most traditional yoga classes don’t incorporate, where athletes move through mobilizing movements in a very calculated way. Additionally, there is a strong theme of regulating the breath and tying that back to how athletes properly brace for bigger strength lifts. 

Yoga can often be seen as a practice for relaxation and flexibility. How does “Flow” balance this with the high-intensity training typically associated with Tone House?

It’s no secret that Tone House strength and conditioning classes are categorized as intense. While that level of training is an important component of a well-rounded movement routine, it does take a toll on the athletes’ nervous system and the general cortisol levels in their respective bodies. Incorporating FLOW into our class offerings gives clients an opportunity to slow down and learn how to assess the readiness of their bodies, their energetic meter. This level of self-awareness is critical to leveling up their athletic endeavors. The most skilled athletes know their bodies inside and out, they understand their limits, they know their warning signs, they have a solid plan to build and a solid plan to restore their bodies respectively. With the addition of yoga, Tone House has a more even-keeled plate of offerings so our athletes can be in a balanced place, an optimal place. 

Are there any specific tips or advice you would give to athletes who are new to yoga but want to get the most out of these sessions?

Fail fast! What I mean by that, is don’t let the idea of being new stop you from trying something. The best of the best sucked one time in their life. Don’t let your lack of experience deter you from trying a new modality that has the potential to not only enhance the relationship with their movement, but also enhance the quality of their life. I’m here to help guide you through!

Coach Natalia performing yoga on a mat laid on the grass.

Lastly, what message or encouragement would you like to convey to athletes and fitness enthusiasts who may be considering adding yoga to their training regimen at Tone House?

Step one is to do the thing. Less thinking, more experimenting. We don’t know what can help us until we try it. Choosing to explore your body in FLOW at Tone House can only yield benefits. Simply put, it’s an avenue of movement you can use to learn more about your body. You’re making a great decision! If any part of you is curious, don’t deny that part of you the opportunity to experience something new within the Tone House umbrella. 

Elevate your training – join us on the mat and discover the holistic benefits of FLOW. View our schedule for class availabilities and sign-up via your Mindbody account.

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