For professional soccer player Kate Deines, the only thing putting a damper on her passion for the sport were the injuries that plagued her during her early playing years. After suffering from a badly torn quadricep in high school, her coach recommended cross-training with yoga, which the former Husky and Seattle Sounders star credits for helping her play to her potential during her college years and into her current position as a midfielder in the Icelandic Pro League. Jasyoga chatted with Kate about focus, recovery, and the importance of athletes taking time out of their schedules for a little happy baby and some gummy bears!

How did you first get introduced to yoga?

I started doing yoga in high school due to some nagging injuries that just wouldn’t go away. I tore my quad pretty badly and couldn’t seem to get healthy. One of my trainers recommended I try yoga and I’ve been practicing every since. I really stepped up my yoga game when I joined the women’s soccer team at the University of Washington and was introduced to Jasyoga. Erin (Owner and Head Coach) had an amazing ability to transform the way I thought about recovery and I credit my regular sessions with her during college for keeping me injury-free and helping me take my game to the next level.

With a career like yours, it must be hard to find time to fit yoga into your schedule. Why is it important for you to prioritize this form of training?

I think for athletes who are constantly on the go and trying to balance so many different pressures in our daily lives, being able to take an hour of your day to relax and refocus through yoga is huge. Since I started, I’ve noticed improvements in my flexibility, performance, and overall well-being. I feel a lot more relaxed and I feel like yoga really takes the edge off all the pressure I feel as a competitive athlete — especially when I was in college and juggling school and practice and friends and family. It just always takes me to a happy place, and it helped get me back on the soccer field at 100 percent after my injury. I’m definitely grateful that I have yoga in my life and it will remain part of my life

Do you notice the difference when you skip a few yoga sessions?

The minute I have not been good about practicing on a regular basis, I’ve gotten a tweak here or there so I always try to practice as often as I can, especially now that I’ve gone pro — staying on top of my game and keeping my body right is super important.

What's your favorite pose?

It's hard to pick just one but it would probably be happy baby. As a soccer player, my hip flexors and groin are always tight so for me, I always feel like I get the most out of that kind of stretch. I also love savasana but then again, who doesn’t? It’s just the most gratifying feeling when you make it to the final pose and feel the weight of the day just lift off your shoulders. There are few things better than that.

Other than yoga, how do you relax and blow off steam?

Even though my career revolves around being active, I still love being as active as possible in my downtime. My family and friends and I are always finding ways to boost our energy outdoors, from hiking to walking, we are always moving!

Favorite post-workout snack?

Chocolate milk is my go-to for the protein and of course, gotta have the gummy bears!

When I play soccer I feel…

Empowered!

Kate is currently playing for Stjarnan FC in the Icelandic Pro League along with fellow former Husky teammate Veronica Perez. To follow their adventures in Iceland visit their blog, www.dawgsinaceland.com.

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