Yonder Athletes

Our ‘Why’

The Yonder Athletes program goes back to the roots of Yonder’s founders, Alex, Selby, and Wes. All NCAA Collegiate Division 1 athletes at the University of Georgia, their athletic backgrounds and experiences were a great source of inspiration for starting the Yonder brand. As athletes, they were put through rigorous workout and practice programs, and it wasn’t until after college when they discovered yoga that they realized what they had been missing all along. Yoga is key for injury prevention, core strength, overall mobility and flexibility, and mental health. Wishing they’d had access to a professionalized yoga program designed for athletes when they were in college, Yonder Athletes was born.

The Program

Yonder Athletes brings professional and specialized yoga instruction to teams and individuals looking to improve their athletic performance. Each session addresses the specific needs of a team or player with a specialized sequence and program. Yonder offers the following class structures:

Yonder Flow – this class is all about strength in movement with 75% of it focused on core and breath-based movement and 25% of it dedicated to warming up and cooling down with deep stretches. This class can be taught in 30, 45, 60, and 75 minute formats.
Yonder Flow + Restore – this class balances the benefits of strength and ease in the yoga practice. Split 50/50, this class gets blood pumping and breath going with muscle-engaging moves followed by deep stretches with long holds, getting into the connective tissue and fascia for ultimate recovery and healing. This class can be taught in 30, 45, 60, and 75 minute formats.
Yonder Flow + Meditate – while all Yonder class formats feature a mindfulness component and meditation opportunity, this class decotes 25% of its time to a guided meditation to improve mindfulness, ease anxiety, and improve mental performance in a competition setting. This class can be taught in 30, 45, 60, and 75 minute formats.
Yonder Restore – this class is 100% deep stretches with long holds, ideal for the day after a big game, long meet, or lots of travel. Breathwork and meditation will also be incorporated throughout class. This class can be taught in 30, 45, 60, and 75 minute formats.

Our Athletes

Yonder gives a meaningful portion of its Yonder Athletes Program proceeds back to athletes through scholarship grants, sponsorships, and other methods. Meet some of Yonder’s Athletes below. To apply to become a Yonder Athlete, click here

Meg Kowalski

A five-year letter-winner, Meg has been a key part of four teams that have advanced to the NCAA Championships including the 2019 team that reached the National Championship finals and won the ITA National Indoors Championship. More recently, she helped her team clinch the 2023 SEC Tournament that helped them secure the #4 seed in the NCAA tournament. A singles All-American and career high ranking of #12 in the nation, Meg was named a finalist for the John Wooden Citizenship Cup, awarded 2019 SEC Freshman of the Year, and was a five-time member of the ITA Community Service Team.

“Coming from a background of being an elite Division 1 Tennis Player, I never considered adding yoga into my training regime as I always perceived yoga classes to be more of a mediation and stretching session. After my first class at Yonder Yoga, I fell in love with the loud, upbeat music and tough workout! Their hot yoga is most definitely a one-size fits all class as it’s a very welcoming environment as well as a judgement-free zone. I’m looking forward to keeping Yonder Yoga on my calendar well after my collegiate tennis days are over.”

Steve Smith

As a retired NBA Champion and Gold Medalist, it’s important to Steve to stay active and healthy.

Steve partners with NBA Cares and The NBA Players Association as an ambassador for health and wellness. Recruiting active and retired players to stay abreast as it concerns to their mental and physical health by staying informed and getting annual physicals during All-Star break.

Being a professional athlete involves hard-core training, mental resilience, consistency and more. One often overlooked exercise activity to incorporate in his athletic training was Hot Yoga and one that he wished he had started at the beginning and throughout his NBA career.

Yonder Yoga helps athletes and Steve by:
1. Injury Recovery and Prevention. Hot yoga allows for deep, safe stretching and helps detoxify the skin, blood, and muscles through sweat. It also helps strengthen muscles and restore the body to balance and symmetry after years of repetitive, sport-specific training.

2. Improved flexibility. More flexibility means a better range of motion for enhanced performance.

3. Better balance. Improving balance and coordination means better control over how you move your body, leading to enhanced technique and form.

4. Breath Control. Athletes who practice yoga learn to manage their breath — maximizing oxygen intake and energy for endurance and stamina.

5. Enhanced Focus. Yoga teaches you to train your mind and stay present. It helps you focus on the task at hand, stay calm under pressure and positive in stressful situations.

“As a member of Yonder, my ultimate highlights are the knowledgeable and friendly instructors and community. I appreciate the class’s mental benefits of creating a sense of calm and clarity. By the time I leave the studio, I feel relaxed and relieved.”

Allie Ross

A member of the 2023 graduating class at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Allie Ross is just now embarking on her college soccer career as a Cavalier with the University of Virginia. Throughout her four years of highschool, she had a total of 141 goals and 70 assists, won 3 Georgia state championships, and won a National championship with her club team. She was a 2 time MVP, 2 time member of the All-State team, and was her classification’s player of the year 2 years in a row. As both a Junior and Senior, she won AJC High School Soccer Athlete of the Year and was named an All American her senior season. She is currently starting her first college season playing as a Forward for the Virginia Women’s Soccer Team, who were ranked number 5 in the pre season NCAA rankings. The Hoos compete in the most competitive women’s soccer conference, the ACC, and historically do very well in the NCAA.

“Ever since I started taking classes at Yonder in the summer of 2021, it has had a positive impact on my performance on the field as a soccer player. I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere of the Yonder Yoga classes even though it was a completely new environment for me because I had never tried yoga before. Before getting into yoga, I had never been able to touch my toes, but Yonder quickly helped me build both my mobility and flexibility to improve my game. Yoga has become a staple in my weekly workout routine to prioritize injury prevention and recovery, while simultaneously training muscles that I am not used to working on the soccer field. While I am upset that there is not a Yonder studio in Charlottesville, my love for yoga will persist, and I can’t wait to get back into classes when I am home!” 

Jalen Virgil

 A wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, I was born in Gurnee, Illinois but raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia. I went to college at Appalachian State. While I was at App State, I was a member of the football and track programs. I graduated with a degree in Business Management with a minor in communications, and I am currently in the works of completing my MBA! After a successful collegiate sports career, I was blessed enough to be given the opportunity to get a shot to play in the NFL as a wide receiver . I was undrafted during the NFL draft. I got a call after the draft by the Denver Broncos to sign with them as an undrafted free agent. It’s a long shot to make a team in the NFL if you’re undrafted, but I worked really hard and made the team last year. I am currently still in Denver and going on my second year in the NFL!

As a professional athlete, I’m always looking for a way to perfect my craft to become the best version of myself. There is always someone coming for your spot, so it is important to be sharp. A weakness of mine has always been my flexibility and mobility. As I was preparing for the NFL draft in the spring of 2022, I talked with my agent, and we decided it might be smart  to include yoga into my training routine. We looked into the yoga studios in the Atlanta area, and Yonder seemed to be the best option. After my first session, I knew that we made the right move. Ever since that first day, I go to Yonder as much as my schedule permits when I am in Georgia. Since I do a lot of lifting as a NFL football player, I have to continue to work on mobility and flexibility to avoid being stiff. I believe that deciding to try Yonder out that one day is a key factor for my success last year. Hot yoga helped me move around better on the field, master my breathing, and helped prevent injuries. I will always continue to do yoga now for the rest of my career and afterwards! 

“I believe that us deciding to try Yonder out that one day was a huge reason for my success last year. Hot yoga helped me move around better on the field, master my breathing, and helped prevent injuries. ”

Carter Freudenstein

A recent graduate of Pace Academy in 2023, Carter Freudenstein is now a member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s swim and dive team. During his time at Pace Academy, he broke 6 school records, 4 pool records, was a 4-time team MVP, an Academic All-American, and was twice named Georgia High School Swim Coaches Association Swimmer of the Year. As a junior, he was state champion in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly; During his senior year, he topped the podium again in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly while also leading Pace to victory in the 200 freestyle relay. 

“I started practicing yoga during the summer of 2020 by following along Yonder’s online flows with my family and since then, I have never looked back. The increased mobility, flexibility, and body control has helped me in and out of the water. Yoga has protected me from injuries while also improving my mental stability during workouts and races.”