about Sage Rountree

I show people how to relax so they can perform better—whether that is in front of a yoga classroom, in competition, or in regular life.

Ironically, telling people to relax is often counterproductive. So I have to take a roundabout approach.

I help people relax by teaching them to be more confident.

Portrait of Sage Rountree, a middle aged white woman smiling in a dress. She stands at Carrboro Yoga Company.

my yoga origin story

I hated the first class I attended in 1996! It was so much harder than I expected it would be. I thought I was flexible; I wasn’t. I thought I was strong; I wasn’t. And the etiquette I understood from fitness classes at the gym didn’t seem to apply. By the end we were just lying there for goodness knows how long and I didn’t know if it would be OK to get up and use the bathroom then return—it was torture!

I had such a strong reaction that I told myself I should go back the next week. In that class, there was a sub who had us do partner yoga. I had to touch a stranger’s feet! Gross! I walked out thinking I would never ever return to yoga.

But a few years later, I was pregnant, and my also-pregnant best friend and I went to prenatal yoga together. Everyone was so welcoming—there were no strangers in that room, as we all were in the same boat and had tons to discuss—and when the teacher walked in, it was the sub from my second yoga class.

That could have been the kiss of death, but she was pregnant, too, and the whole thing felt so very different. We did partner yoga again, rubbing each other’s swollen ankles, and I liked it!

The change wasn’t in yoga. It certainly wasn’t in the teacher—the very one I thought had scared me off yoga for good. It was in me.

And I liked yoga so much it became my life’s work. I co-own the Carrboro Yoga Company, which has served the community since 2004, and Hillsborough Spa and Day Retreat, a place where you can lose yourself for an hour—or find yourself in a day.

my approach

I specialize in yoga for athletes and in training yoga teachers. The connection between these two niches is helping my students relax so they can perform at their best.

Athletes—what we sometimes euphemistically call “peak performers”—are used to pushing and usually quite comfortable with discomfort. Athletes are not as good at finding ease, what I sometimes call developing comfort with comfort.

But when we learn to relax, we recover faster, focus better, feel happier, and, best of all, perform better—all by learning to do less.

When I work with yoga teachers, much of my energy goes into assuring them that they are doing fine already. It’s easy for teachers—not just new ones, but all of us, myself included—to overthink, overplan, overanalyze, and thus lock ourselves up.

That’s not a great headspace for leading a class that is designed to help people find balance and calm!

So my work with teachers is sharing tools to feel confident. My trainings and books help teachers build:

  • confidence with their voices, whether in cueing or in describing philosophy
  • confidence with their sequences
  • confidence with their ability to adapt their plans to suit the students who are present
  • confidence with their professional skills
  • confidence in their career path

And once teachers develop this confidence, they relax, and this improves their energy in the classroom, so they can lead their students to balance and connection.

As a consequence of working in these two fields, I’ve learned how to make simple things seem hard (that’s often what athletes need to feel like they are “winning at yoga”) and hard things seem simple (what teachers need to get into their groove in class).

“Your coaching and teaching has absolutely helped me be a more clear and concise teacher! And there is always more to learn. Can’t wait for upcoming workshops!”

Jill Taylor

founder, Sukha Equine

where I work

We might have connected in some of these places I’ve taught:

  • The Pentagon
  • The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs
  • Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, where I’ve been on the faculty for over 10 years
  • Yoga Journal LIVE!
  • Wanderlust 108 and Wanderlust Festivals
  • Many yoga studios, REI stores, and MEC stores across the United States and Canada
  • The field of Kenan Stadium and Roy Williams Court of the Dean Smith Center at the University of North Carolina
  • The start line of the local turkey trot
  • Carrboro Yoga Company, my home base in North Carolina
  • my Virtual Studio, here to help you wherever you are

How can you relax?

Enough about me! Are you ready to relax?

Tell me who you are and I’ll send you a personalized tool to help.

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Need some Sage advice?

Tell me who you are, and I’ll send you a personalized treat to help you feel confident and relaxed.

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