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Interview with Athletic Recovery Specialist Jason Papalio

Today I had the opportunity to talk with Jason Papalio of Stamford Connecticut, who is an Athletic Recovery Specialist.  He has a unique way of using Yoga and Mindfulness to help his athletes stay injury free.  I got a chance to pick his brain and talk about Athletes, Injuries, and Mindset. This is just a short interview before our podcast that will be coming soon.

FLO: Can you share with everyone what it is that you do?

Jason:  Work with sports teams that range from high school to professional teams.  I help to teach them movement through yoga as well as mindfulness and breathing techniques.

FLO: What’s your philosophy on training and how does it help with MMA

Jason:  Most injuries happen because of a lack of range of motion. The mobility gained during the Yoga training can help the athletes to move better, which will improve athletic performance.    The mindfulness training can help MMA fighters stay aware during a fight so that they do not over exert themselves and burn out.  It will keep them calm and efficient which allows for optimal performance. The breathing techniques can also aid in keeping a fighter relaxed while being chocked or short on oxygen.

FLO: Walk me through what a session of training with you will consist of.

Jason:  There is an arc to all training sessions. First it starts off calm and assessing mobility via certain moves.  The moves will continue to progress in difficulty as new ranges of motion are acquired. There is also constant communication to assure that the athlete is aware of their body and feeling the exercises in the right positions.  For athletes we constantly work on single leg balance since they are never really ever balanced on both legs while playing the sport. The session ends with breathing work or some drills that focus on mindfulness.

FLO: What certifications do you recommend someone should take if interested in what you do?

Jason:  Do your research on places near you. Don’t just sign up because of the cert. Find a teacher that you connect with and that shares your ideas. If you are going to spend over 200 hours with someone, you should be sure it’s someone that you respect and share a connection with. No two Yoga schools are the same, so be sure you find a place that you are happy with.

FLO: Do you recommend any books to learn more info?

Jason:     The Mindful Athlete by George Mumford /  Training Camp by John Gordon   / Mindgym by Gary Mack 


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