Meet yoga and pilates instructor, Steph Armijo, founder of Yoga 42, formerly in the sports industry, now a yoga instructor to professional athletes offering services to individuals and teams.
After I took my very first yoga class, I knew the connection was there. Yoga, and other mindfulness modalities, are key for teams to gain a competitive advantage.
Today, I work with clients teaching yoga, meditation, pilates, and self-myofascial massage with therapy balls.
Baseball is a game filled with routines, superstitions, and unspoken norms. Resisting big change, baseball is the last professional sport to use yoga as part of their strength and conditioning programs. Small steps have been made over the years, but a serious look needs to be given to recovery and the nervous system. I am here to guide players/ coaches through the long season. Recovery is beginning to gain attention as a critical element of training. The nervous system affects every system in the body. If players are not taking proper care of themselves from the inside, their bodies will not hold up through a 6+ month season.
I have loved the game of baseball since I was eight years old. I would watch games on TV, keep score in a notebook, and cut out box scores from the newspaper the following morning. I would tape the official box to my scorecard and double check for any mistakes. In college, I quickly changed my major (from business to communication) so that I was able to accept an internship with the San Francisco Giants during Spring Training. That internship lasted five years, and I took away more knowledge and experience than I could have ever imagined. I not only understood the game of baseball better, but I began to understand what it takes to have a successful season. After college, I moved to NYC to accept a newly created position in statistics at MLB.com. From there, I moved to Austin, Texas and signed up for my first yoga class. A lightbulb went off after that first class. One of those moments you never forget. Yoga + Baseball go hand-in-hand. Every team should be doing yoga. I left ATX, moved to San Diego, and signed up for my first yoga training. I did additional workshops and trainings soaking up everything I could before I made my big move back to NYC. I moved to NYC in 2013 to teach yoga to sports teams. I connected with the Mets, where I taught yoga weekly to employees (and occasionally coaches/players as the season permitted); I taught yoga to the Brooklyn Nets team and head coach; and a variety of college and high school sports teams and sports organizations throughout NYC for five years. In 2018, I relocated to the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay area to focus on yoga and baseball research and yoga programming.
In 2020, I moved to Phoenix, AZ to launch my Yoga for Athletes 200-hour training and 20-hour MLB Personnel Yoga Module.
Today, I offer my athletes a unique experience of yoga, meditation, pilates, and self- myofascial massage. Together, these modalities complement training, the season (playing and traveling), and life.
My vision is to become the first yoga instructor as part of a performance team traveling with a club. Everyone will have a different experience and yoga will have a different impact on each person. If one athlete is able to sleep better, and another is able to find more ease in movement, than it is working. Yoga works.