Sage Rountree

SAGE ROUNTREE is an expert in yoga for athletes. Her books include The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga and The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga and she’s a contributor to Runner’s World and Yoga Journal online. Sage is also a competitive age group runner and triathlete whose 2008 races included the Boston Marathon and the World Triathlon Championships.

Sage came to running as a way to relieve stress while completing her PhD in English literature—and as a way to exercise her energetic chocolate Lab. Runs with the dog became a way to explore new trails, to clear her mind, and to gradually build an endurance base. Along the way, she visited a yoga class and was frustrated to find it very difficult; she left and didn’t return until she was pregnant with her first daughter. This time, the experience was different. The presence of mind and awareness of breath Sage learned in yoga helped her get through an unintentionally unanesthetized labor and delivery. That delivery showed Sage that her body was capable of far more than she expected; the next year, she ran her first marathon, practicing yoga to balance her training. (Both the labor and the race clocked in just under four hours.)

After the birth of her second daughter, Sage began training to teach yoga. Around the same time, she turned to triathlon and instantly loved the sport. She is now a USA Triathlon certified expert coach, working with athletes who compete at all levels in triathlon, duathlon, running, and ultrarunning. She has completed dozens of sprint-, Olympic-, and half-iron-distance triathlons, and is building to Ironman Coeur d’Alene in June 2009.

On Finding a Path: “My path is clear in retrospect: My five years of experience at the front of a college English classroom make me a better yoga teacher. The six years I spent as a public radio announcer gave me the skills to record and edit a voice track on my own (the producer of my DVDs loves this). The diligence and patience it took to spend seven years in graduate school and earn my PhD directly enhance my success in endurance sports. My experience as a mother makes me a better coach, and vice versa.”

Athletes of all sports and levels praise Sage’s practical, straightforward teaching style, evidenced in her DVD, also called The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga, and in her podcast of post-workout stretching routines, available at SageRountree.com. She trains, teaches, and coaches in Chapel Hill, NC, and gives workshops nationwide.

On Inspiration: “When I wished aloud there were a good book on yoga for endurance athletes, my husband pointed out that with my experience in writing, yoga, and endurance sports, I should write that book myself. So I did! Ask yourself: Why not? Be unabashed in finding role models; surround yourself with successful people who love what they do. Mark Twain advised, ‘Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.'”