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Monday, September 21, 2015

Namaste, dude! Teen baseballer-turned yogi to teach practice to peers

Courtesy 16-year-old Brice Sullivan
Through yoga, sixteen-year-old Brice Sullivan from Coral Springs, Florida, is upping his game in sport and in life.

This past Spring, having tried a live-music Vinyasa class through Yoga Fox, of Delray Beach, Florida, Sullivan was smitten with the ancient practice.

“I was timid at first, but adjusted and kind of fell in love with it,” he says.

An outfield baseball player for Stoneman Douglas High School, Sullivan returned for regular classes and discovered yoga’s benefits had...
a far reach.

Courtesy Brice Sullivan
“It actually enhanced my flexibility and athletic performance on the baseball field. My speed and focus during the game improved,” he says. It also calmed his nerves. “Before yoga, my toes would be shaking on the outfield. Now I walk out there and am totally relaxed. I love baseball.”

Besides the physical benefits of yoga, Sullivan has also come out of his shell more as a result.

“It’s been life changing for me. I wasn’t as social as I am right now. Yoga has helped me to relax and has boosted my confidence a bunch,” he says.

In addition, Sullivan is able to concentrate more easily in school.

“Last year, while my teacher was lecturing, I’d get tired and fall asleep. Now I stay awake and focus. I just tell myself to breathe and practice Ujaii breath for stamina. I appreciate my teacher’s time and purpose more too,” he says.
Sullivan hasn’t met another guy his age doing yoga, and says, “I don’t think guys have given it a chance. Most of the time they think it’s for girls who are super flexible.”
To dispel this myth, the eleventh-grader is about to become a yoga teacher himself. He made the decision after returning from an inspiring five-day yoga retreat to Costa Rica this past summer.
“During our second to last yoga class there, our teacher had us in a yoga nidre," says Sullivan. "He asked us to consider the human race and how much we’ve changed the world and to imagine the huge impact we could make. This changed me. It made me want to help other teens and really bring them to yoga."
To raise money for his training, Sullivan started a GoFundMe campaign. After raising over $400 through family, friends. and the public, YogaFox studio owners got wind of his social media effort and offered to cover the balance of his training’s cost ($3,800.00), in exchange for volunteering his time at their studio on weekends.
“I’m extremely excited,” says Sullivan, who began the eight-month long training program last month.
Hoping to deepen his practice and ultimately teach, Sullivan says, “I believe I’ll be able to influence some teen boys to do yoga. My goal for the year is to lead my baseball team in one or two yoga sessions a week before baseball practice. For some, it won’t be amazing or immaculate, but if they just continue, their athleticism, flexibility, and focus will increase.”

 

 

 

1 comment:

Melissa Gill said...

That is awesome Brice! I am so glad that you have found something you are this passionate about!