Yoga Athletex, sitting directly above the Houston Skyline Juniors volleyball gym in Spring Branch, has a mission to help prevent sports-related injuries. Founded in January of 2017 by sisters Kaylan Evans and Patricia Bomar, Yoga Athletex seeks to provide the movement training that Kaylan thinks could have prevented her own injuries she suffered while playing college volleyball. “If I had done yoga in college, I may have been able to avoid injuries, and could have kept playing, even after college,” says Kaylan.
I climbed the steps to the second floor (my daily workout) to reach their modern-industrial style space, compete with a yoga studio, workout gym and a locker room. A group doing High Intensity Training hustled purposefully through circuit stations set up in the gym, under the supervision of their trainer. I stepped into the peaceful calm of the yoga studio to speak with Kaylan about the story behind Yoga Athletex.
“We grew up in the fitness industry, and we had always dreamed of opening a business together,” Kaylan says. The sisters’ immersion in athletics growing up was partly due to their mother, who played volleyball for University of Houston, then the United States Volleyball Association, and now works with PE teachers in Spring Branch. Patricia played college club sports while working toward her sports management degree, and Kaylan played college volleyball while studying accounting.
“I suffered from a lot of injuries in college, and my doctors told me that I could do yoga and I could walk, and that was pretty much my limit,” Kaylan says. On her doctor’s recommendation, she began taking yoga classes consistently. After 30 days of yoga, her back pain had gone away, and she no longer needed to take medication. “Doing yoga increases your mobility, flexibility, and range of motion; keeping you from compensating in other areas during workouts and causing injury,” she explains. Kaylan knew that she had to keep up this routine.
After college, both sisters found jobs in the oil and gas industry. However, Kaylan explains that being a very kinesthetic person made sitting at a desk for 8 hours every day far from ideal, and the sisters found joy in their workouts outside of work hours. By 2013, Patricia and Kaylan decided to become certified yoga instructors, and started teaching classes under their newly formed LLC, Yoga Athletex. “We taught in parks, our parents’ garage, we rented space in a CrossFit gym, and inside the Skyline gym at first,” Kaylan says. When Skyline offered them a space on the 2nd floor, “We felt like it was now or never – take this opportunity or go back to our day jobs. It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” Kaylan says.
Accepting Skyline’s offer in January of 2017, Yoga Athletex has gone from Kaylan and Patricia as sole instructors, to gradually adding a staff of highly qualified trainers over the past two years. The sisters’ mission began with youth athletes, who Kaylan often recognizes are “very stressed out with recruiting, school work and even social media. They have a lot on their plates.” The sisters can thoroughly identify with the challenges faced by these students, having once been in their shoes.
High school and college athletes can benefit from the “Play, Work, Restore” model that Yoga Athletex upholds. “Play” refers to the athlete’s sport, “Work” happens through strength and conditioning training, and “Restore” is done through yoga.
Now, Yoga Athletex works with athletes from age 11 through adulthood. Current athletes and people who participated in athletics at any point in their lives can find support through classes offered. Functional Movement screens are done on all athletes, to identify weaknesses each person can work to improve. Strength training classes, High Intensity Training classes, jump training, sport performance classes, and mobility through self-myofascial release (therapy balls that increase your mobility), are part of the “Work” portion, before moving into a restorative yoga session. “I feel really lucky that we get to offer a space for athletes to relax and recover,” Kaylan says.
Though the first two years of getting Yoga Athletex up and running has been challenging and exhausting, Patricia and Kaylan are confident that offering this opportunity to athletes has been more than worth it. When asked what the most enjoyable aspect of owning the business is, Kaylan responded, “I love the connections I’ve made with the athletes, getting to see them progress so quickly, and see them excited about yoga. One of the best parts of owning our own company is getting to be creative, and doing what we believe in.”
Spring Branch’s Yoga Athletex offers a supportive space for student athletes, adults training for marathons, college graduates in need of a new fitness routine after transitioning from sports into working life, or anyone who wants to improve their health. Whether you play a sport, or are seeking to simply work and restore, Yoga Athletex creates a community with the tools to help you to reach your goals.