The Sports Ashram was founded in the autumn of 2018 by Jack Maitland and Kirsten Steffensen. It is a triathlon coaching business using yoga to help athletes develop and perform to their highest potential.
Wikipedia: “The wording ashram (Sanskrit: आश्रम, Sanskrit pronunciation: [aːɕɽəmə]) comes from the Sanskrit root śram- (श्रम्) which means to toil.
Ashram: “a step in the journey of life” “a place where one strives towards a goal in a disciplined manner. Such a goal could be ascetic, spiritual, yogic or any other goal”
We are based in Leeds and do the majority of our work from there but also host training camps, days and sessions across the UK and abroad. Our aim is to provide high quality triathlon coaching using yoga and live up to our name. We aim to grow and develop our business so that one day can offer you a physical centre where you can come and stay, train, do yoga and be with fellow athletes.
We provide individual coaching for professional and age-group triathletes, coach mentoring, swim technique clinics and we have regular running and yoga sessions in Leeds. Current projects we are involved with: development and running of a swim squad in Malta, consulting for a Polish company that is looking to increase triathlon opportunities in the city of Wroclaw, working with the Bermudian Triathlon Association and local coaches on a junior development pathway.
Jack competed at world-class level in some of the toughest sports: orienteering, fell running, triathlon and duathlon, winning a range of national and International events. He represented Great Britain many times in World and European Championships and was the top performing Scottish athlete in the demonstration triathlon event at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland in 1990.
Jack has 18 years experience as a full-time triathlon coach. As a major instigator and long-term head coach of the Leeds Triathlon Centre he was instrumental in the successes of Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Vicky Holland, Non Stanford and many other elite athletes. Jack has twice been a winner of the prestigious Mussabini medal for services to British sport and is a member of the Sports Coach UK Hall of Fame. In 2018 he left his position at the Leeds Triathlon Centre to set up The Sports Ashram and pursue new challenges.
Both Jack and Kirsten are experienced yoga students and believe that everything you learn on your mat can be of use in your everyday life. Together they have developed their own style of yoga merging Jack’s extensive triathlon experience with Kirsten’s yoga knowledge and physiotherapy background. Practising yoga in this way can play a really positive role in an athlete’s physical and mental health.
The Sports Ashram’s yoga classes are tailored to athletes’ bodies and their way of thinking. The classes are jam packed with knowledge and provide an important part of the foundation any athlete needs to improve and perform. If you can create a body that can move freely, with no discomfort or pain, and a strong focused mind, then you are set up to enjoy and fully benefit from your your swim, bike and run training.