Brent Betts is a new teacher at Modo Yoga St. John's.

Modo Voices: After a hockey injury, Brent discovers yoga

 

For Brent, the benefits of yoga have been endless in his body, mind and soul.

As a former hockey player, he’s suffered numerous injuries, but one in particular took him off the ice.

He stepped onto his mat for the first time ever in an effort to rehabilitate — and he’s not the only one.

In recent years, yoga has become one of the most popular exercises for professional athletes to improve strength training and build mental resilience.

READ MORE: Modo Voices: Karl learns to love all his colours

Fresh from his Modo Yoga teacher training in Montreal, Can., Brent took some time to reflect on how life has changed from his days lacing up to doing sun salutations at his home studio of Modo Yoga St. John’s, N.L.

“I played hockey for 17 years. After that long, the sport becomes like a home to you.

“Competing in a high caliber environment made me feel like I was succeeding at something, but I had to stop playing because of a back injury.

“As an electrician, I physically couldn’t do my work while being in pain from the games. So, that’s what led me to yoga. The goal was just to get my back healthy again.

“I had no idea that I needed to work on my mind too. I forgot how important that was. I forgot to keep growing as a person.

“I have to say there is a huge misconception that yoga isn’t hard — it’s a helluva workout! Hands down one of the hardest workouts, both physically and mentally.

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“I played hockey for 17 years. After that long, the sport becomes like a home to you. Competing in a high caliber environment made me feel like I was succeeding at something. But I had to stop playing because of a back injury. As an electrician, I physically couldn’t do my work while being in pain from the games. So that's what lead me to yoga. The goal was just to get my back healthy again. I had no idea that I needed to work on my mind too. I forgot how important that was. I forgot to keep growing as a person. I have to say there is a huge misconception that yoga isn’t hard––it’s a helluva workout! Hands down one of the hardest workouts, both physically and mentally. It not only makes you work your body weight to support your muscles but it strengthens your ligaments and tendons too. And in doing the movements, it affects your nervous system. It calms you. I just love it. Yoga gave me the opportunity to explore my authentic self in a way that hockey didn’t. Every day that I step on my mat, it helps me be who I am. It’s like your mat is your soul and that’s where you go to connect with who you are. I remember feeling nervous that I wouldn’t be accepted by the yoga community but I experienced the opposite! Modo Yoga defines what supportive community means. As an athlete, young or old, you can benefit by just being here, accepted for who you truly are. You can drop the facade that we often put on for our teammates. You can grow here. The benefits are endless. Yoga helps prevent injuries, it heals injuries and it strengthens your core, which is so important for any sport. We spend so much time destroying our bodies and yoga allows our bodies to stay healthy so that we can enjoy our sport for longer. So if you like playing hockey, go to yoga. If you like swimming, go to yoga. If you like tennis, go to yoga. Whatever you do, whoever you are, just go to yoga!” —@brent_betts, @mokshahotyogastjohns #ModoVoices

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“It not only makes you work your body weight to support your muscles, but it strengthens your ligaments and tendons too.

In doing the movements, it affects your nervous system. It calms you. I just love it.

Yoga gave me the opportunity to explore my authentic self in a way that hockey didn’t.

Every day that I step on my mat, it helps me be who I am. It’s like your mat is your soul and that’s where you go to connect with who you are.

I remember feeling nervous that I wouldn’t be accepted by the yoga community, but I experienced the opposite.

Modo Yoga defines what ‘supportive community’ means. As an athlete, young or old, you can benefit by just being here, accepted for who you truly are.

You can drop the facade that we often put on for our teammates. You can grow here. The benefits are endless.

Yoga helps prevent injuries, it heals injuries and it strengthens your core, which is so important for any sport.

We spend so much time destroying our bodies and yoga allows our bodies to stay healthy so that we can enjoy our sport for longer.

So, if you like playing hockey, go to yoga. If you like swimming, go to yoga. If you like tennis, go to yoga. Whatever you do, whoever you are, just go to yoga!”

Modo Voices shares the stories of students and teachers across the Modo community.  Some came to Modo through friends, others took the road less travelled as they searched for answers to enliven their life, connect deeper with themselves and their community or bravely face battles with depression, anxiety, injury or prejudice. No matter how they got here, we are Modo Yoga.