Mental Health for Athletes: A Meditation for Self-Compassion

Mental Health for Athletes- Yoga and Meditation Series

The video above is a part of a series of six yoga and meditation classes that are designed for athletes with a special focus on mental health.

The six classes have three different focuses:

  1. Self-compassion
  2. Self-judgement
  3. Self-acceptance

One yoga class and one meditation class will be centred around each of these concepts.

You can find the series of classes here.

All of these classes have been created to assist athletes improve their mental wellness and to support the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative

Click her to find out how you can support the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative.

Self-Compassion for Athletes

Most athletes are no stranger to the theory of “tough love.” It’s the idea that in order to be a better athlete, performer, and competitor, a coach might display tough love, or no mercy, to his/her athletes to push them to be better. A lot of the time in competitive sports, tough love is a necessary tactic for the coach to use to push their athletes to new levels.

The problem with constant displays of tough love is that athletes begin to believe that tough love is the only way that they will be able to succeed in anything, even beyond sports. Many athletes believe that if they are not hard on themselves that they won’t get anything done. This is where self-compassion comes in.

Self-compassion is accepting ourselves fully; showing ourselves kindness exactly how we are in the present moment without judgment. Research now shows that self-compassion is a vital tool for life-long motivation and healthy behavior, and can actually improve athletic performance among high-level competitors. With more and more research on self-compassion coming out on athletes, we can begin to see that tough love may work temporarily but that cultivating self-compassion is even more important to overall performance and long term success.

Because athletes are so used to the notion of tough love, it can be hard to show themselves compassion right away. This meditation helps athletes ease into the idea of self-compassion by first experiencing what it feels like to have someone else show them compassion. When we feel compassion from others, we then begin to become aware of what it would feel like to give ourselves compassion.



Click here to read more in our Mental Health for Athletes series of article.

The yoga classes in this series are taught by Jeff Grace is a registered yoga therapist.

Jeff holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College-New Westminster, BC) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute – Calgary, Alberta). He has a background of over 20 years coaching both swimmers and triathletes.

At the age of 26 Jeff was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder you can read more about his story here.

Mental Health for Athletes

You can find out more about Jeff at and

The meditation classes in this series are taught by Eliza Jane who received her Masters in Integrative Health from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Growing up, she played hockey on the national and collegiate level and is passionate about bringing mindfulness and self-compassion practices to athletes of all levels.

Mental Health for Athletes

She lives in Vancouver, BC where she works as a wellness coach, meditation teacher, and group fitness instructor. To learn more about Eliza, visit her website at

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About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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