Meet Joy Zazzera, the most recently certified graduate of my Teaching Yoga to Athletes course! This is an especially happy introduction for me to make, as Joy is a special teacher who is uniquely sympathetic to the needs of athletes and anyone who could stand to chill out.
From her youth, Joy went hard at any sport she could, to the point where she had both knees replaced by the time she turned 41. She says, “I never knew how important athletic recovery was because none of the coaches I had ever played for talked about it. Even after a decade working in collegiate athletics, being around highly competitive student-athletes and coaches, there still wasn’t much being presented in terms of how yoga and dedicated athletic recovery practices could complement athleticism and invoke a sense of athletic longevity. Even though I had been practicing yoga since my mid-twenties, I never made the connection (which blows my mind, lol!) that this might be great for athletes. Once I took Sage’s workshop, it became clear that I needed to continue to spread this message to as many athletes as possible.”
As she says, Joy and I first met when she took my teachers’ workshop at Kripalu. Though she wasn’t yet a yoga teacher, she was wholeheartedly interested in the intersection of yoga and the athlete’s needs, and she let that wholeheartedness shine throughout our week together. After watching her teach a fabulous class of yoga for snowboarders, her classmates and I all knew she was a natural born yoga teacher. We encouraged her to take a full-on yoga teacher training, and she came to North Carolina that summer to do the Carolina Yoga Company’s three-week intensive YTT.
Joy’s mantra for that intensive: ALL IN. That’s a great attitude to have for teacher training, especially one that happens all at once, and it shone through her time then and after—within two months, she had opened a small studio, Yoga with Joy, and she went all in on that. It’s paid great dividends, to the point where she found a bigger space during the pandemic and will be offering her wonderful teachings there soon.
And visit her when you are in or around Carbondale, PA!
In Joy’s own words, she wants to help people find recovery and balance:
“High school and college athletes who train and compete hard in their sport, adults committed to staying in shape through training and desiring a sense of physical and mental longevity, older athletic adults who are still active but dealing with old injuries and desiring improved strength and flexibility and adults facing or living with joint replacements, are whom I am most hoping to affect following my formal training in teaching yoga to athletes.
“From the time I could walk I was active in basketball, dance, and waterskiing and as I grew older continued with those sports but added running, snowboarding, street hockey, biking, and paddling to the obsessive mix of 24-7 sports. I endured total ACL reconstructive surgery early on in high school that caused me to favor one side of the body all the way into my late thirties when I was faced with two, totally deteriorated knees. I want to help others like me prevent early-onset osteoarthritis by teaching them to value recovery as part of the training process for their sport, as a way to ensure longevity for their future, and teach them how to experience more whole body strength, balance, flexibility and focus as a means to help them achieve performance gains in the present.”
Her students are so lucky!
If you’d like to join Joy as an expert in teaching yoga to athletes, start your work on the course here at my revamped website. The lectures have all been freshly updated, so you’ll be getting the most recent content.
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