By Brittany Rosales, RYT-200


These 6 letters have changed my entire view of my life, my daily routine, and my sport.

They have caused me to re-think nearly every decision I’ve made in the past. They have helped

me shape and form new habits.

But what is Sattva? What is so earth-shattering about this word that before last year, I’d

never before heard? While you may not have uttered “Sattva” in your life, I can guarantee you

have contemplated the concepts that it calls to mind. You see, Sattva is a philosophic construct,

of yogic roots, that in its most basic form translates to one exceptional word: Balance. While

Sattva brings with it other related concepts, for the sake of simplicity, it mostly always boils

down to the idea of balance.

I came from the world of walk-it-off, wrap-it-up, and push-past-the-pain. Growing up a

dancer, I was pushed well beyond the physical limitations that my body had set. In some ways,

that’s not a bad thing. Pushing past limitations is how we grow, right? Except, what teachers

and coaches don’t often consider is the fact that pressing an athlete too far past the limits his

body currently holds can cause a life-time of pain and injury. This is especially true for young

athletes whose bodies have yet to finish forming and growing.

Now, this is not to say that we aren’t to persevere, to test the boundaries, or gently lift

past the ceiling of our current limitations. Because they are just that: current. If your body is

incapable of doing something – a stretch, a routine, a dive, a pose – I fully believe it is a

temporary limitation. You can’t do it – yet. The “yet” is key. With time, practice, and dedication,

you can do anything. It’s important that you actually believe that, because it’s 100% true. Read

it again if you need to. The athletes who are better than you aren’t magical other-worldly

entities, they are humans who have dedicated their hours, sweat, and perseverance to their

craft. While that’s highly admirable, it’s also fully attainable. You are in complete control of

your own progress.

So where does Sattva fit in with training? I was almost 2 years into my yoga journey

before I really began to understand the concept of balance, and trust me, I am still striving for it

daily. When I realized that I needed to listen to my body and allow it to tell me what it needed,

my practice changed for the better. No longer was I (as) frustrated when I couldn’t master a

pose immediately. No more was I jealous that the person next to me was “so much better” at

insert-shape-here than me.

I have heard before that the moment you want to leave a yoga pose, that is where the

yoga truly begins. Basically, it’s when I want to give up, but don’t, that I start to make progress.

I still need to listen to my body’s limitations, but there’s a huge difference between pain and

discomfort. Learning the difference between the two will make or break your sport. Pushing

past pain causes injury; pushing past discomfort causes growth. I believe it is fully possible to

safely test your limitations if you learn to tap into what your body needs. I dream of a world

where all coaches help their athletes truly understand this concept – can you imagine the

lifelong injuries young athletes could avoid? I picture fewer conclusions, ligament tears,

dislocated joints…the list goes on.

I realize that the idea of Sattva could also have a downside, because I must be careful to

avoid it myself. Sometimes, I find myself using Sattva as an excuse. Today I don’t want to work

as hard because I need balance. It’s that eat-one-apple, eat-one-cupcake mentality. This is a

dangerous trap – too much of a good thing can indeed be too much. Check yourself; ask, “Am I

being honest with myself in my desire to rest my body today? Or am I being lazy and unwilling

to put in the work necessary to grow?” If you can honestly answer that your body is asking for

rest, then freely and generously allow yourself recovery time – without guilt. If you cannot

honestly say that you need a day off, then get your booty to your mat, the pool, the field, the

studio, wherever it is that you do your thing.

Choose balance; seek Sattva. Work hard and rest well. Learn the difference between

pain as a warning sign and discomfort as a sign of growth. Learn to say no. Choose when to say

yes. Practice brutal honestly with yourself. Give yourself grace when you slip up. In the words of

Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, “Practice, and all is coming.”



We are so excited to introduce you to one of our favorite items we've ever launched here at HARDCORE, the new and amazing CUSTOM TEAM TOWEL!

Super softy soft on one side, cottony loop terry on the other, this thing is forever in our bag. We're bringing it everywhere - Practice, the beach, recovery day yoga, it's coming with us.

Two size are available, REGULAR 61"x30" and LARGE 65"x35" though we recommend the large one!

As always, personalization is available so you'll never lose your towel again. These make great senior gifts but trust us, the whole team will want them.

Check the CUSTOMS page for more info.

POSTURE with Dr. McMichael

Posture is not a fun topic. It’s like drinking more water. We all know we should make more of a conscious effort, but few of us do.

I’m hoping that by providing some reasons as to why proper body posture is important, as well as some simple daily exercises, you will be able to improve your posture thereby improving the longevity of your musculoskeletal system.

Every body will go through a natural degenerative process. Vertebral discs become drier and therefore shrink. Bones become less smooth and lose some of their shape. This can lead to pain and reduction in range of motion (ROM).  Genetics play a role in degeneration as well as traumas such as car accidents, however, posture also plays a role and is something that is in our control.

Poor posture, which does not allow the body to move in the way it was designed, speeds up the degenerative process of the spine by increasing wear and tear on the joints. This means that the better your posture is the better chance you are giving yourself at a healthier body for a longer period of time.

Proper Posture: Side view

Your external acoustic meatus aka EAM aka that hole in your ear should be directly over the front 1/3 of your shoulder. This is important because every 1” that your head is leaning forward over your spine, it is an additional 9lbs of force on the neck and, once again, speeds up the degeneration of the cervical spine. I suggest having someone take a picture of you from the side to see where your head naturally lies. Initially, it might feel like you have “military neck” when you hold your ear over your shoulder. However, it will feel more natural with time.

Your greater trochanter which is found on the widest part of your hips should be directly over the front 1/3 of your knee. And your knee should be over the back ¼ of your foot.


I like to break posture down into 2 sections: Upper Crossed Syndrome and Lower Crossed Syndrome

Upper Crossed Syndrome

Most of us have what is described as “anterior head carriage.” This is when we hold our head more forward than it is meant to sit which causes a chronic pattern in our muscles. Since we hold ourselves in this unnatural, yet socially acceptable position, we cause a lot of health issues for ourselves over time including but not limited to headaches, shoulder pain, osteoarthritis, and tight neck.

With the ear being in front of the shoulder, this position causes tight pectoral muscles and upper traps as well as weak deep neck flexors and weak lower traps and rhomboids.

The exercises to correct this “anti” posture are:

Hold elbow at a 90 degree angle against a door jam or protruding wall corner and turn your body away from the arm you are stretching. You should feel a gently pull in the front of the shoulder. Repeat on the other side.


Put left arm behind your back to anchor that shoulder. Place the right hand above the left ear and gently pull your right ear to right shoulder. Repeat on other side.


Keeping your chin parallel to the floor, pull it back to create a “double chin.” I suggest doing this exercises in your car against the seat headrest for added isometric resistance.


Tie an elastic exercises band to a door handle and stand facing the door holding one end of the band in each hand. Keep forearms parallel to the floor and pull back while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Release the pull in a slow, controlled motion and then repeat.

When you stretch a muscle it lengthens the fibers combating muscle tightness. Strengthening a muscle shortens the muscle fibers. By strengthening the rhomboids it will actually shorten the muscle and over time physically pull back your shoulders. Same with the neck flexors.

Lower Crossed Syndrome

Something else I see in almost everyone are weak glutes and abs (since we sit all day which disengages both muscle groups), and consequently tight low back and tight hip flexors.....

Greetings from Gwangju!

It has been an eventful first week here in South Korea. After a 13 hour flight to Seoul, we unfortunately missed the train to Gwangju by about 10 minutes and had to entertain ourselves in the airport for three hours while we waited for another train. After a two and a half hour ride to the center of Gwangju, we caught a quick bus over to the Athlete Village at about 1:00 A.M. local time. We checked in, got some food, and took a much-needed night of sleep.

Because our first game was not scheduled until the 4th, we got in some good training by ourselves and also with the Italians, who were guided by former Bruin Cristiano Mirarchi. However, a last minute schedule change for the games threw us a curveball; we were now scheduled to open against Japan on July 2nd instead of the 4th. We played hard and defeated the Japanese 13-12 to open the tournament.

After a day break,

Fitness 101

Most of us have been athletes since childhood and don't think much about what goes into achieving and maintaining a healthy body, but since this is one of the first blog posts of the new, we decided to take it back to the basics. This post is meant to strengthen and encourage not just our athletes but your moms, friends, uncles, cousins, and whoever else wants to achieve an awesome, athletic body (like yours) but just doesn't know where to begin!

Over the years I have learned a lot from people who know way more than I do. All of the information from different coaches, teachers, friends, etc has been hard to effectively consolidate and share. That is, until recently when I came across an awesome website that takes everything I have learned and more and makes it super clear and easy to follow. It's called Simple Science Fitness, and it even has calculators to help you personalize your fitness and nutrition plans. Check it out, I promise you will be glad you did!

These are some of the main ideas that stand out to me and serve as daily reminders that can help ANYONE achieve results and BE HARDCORE. :)


-Your body composition is 80% diet, and 20% exercise. (Yes, genetics play role in our body shape and predispositions to more muscle/fat, but we CAN CONTROL our fat loss and muscle gain regardless of what we were born with.)
-Burn more calories than you eat to lose weight. Eat more calories than you burn to gain weight. It is that simple. BUT, our bodies (and metabolisms) function more efficiently when we consume calories in a way that meets our personal macronutrient needs. 
-Basically, eat a LOT of protein, but also to not be afraid of (good) carbs and fats. We need all three to be optimus prime. SSF gives you your personal numbers to work with based on your body. Prep your meals ahead of time, otherwise it is extremely difficult to stick to.
-DRINK A LOT OF WATER. If you don’t have to pee all the time you’re pretty much doing it wrong.
-Use an app like MyFitnessPal to help keep track of your food throughout the day and to avoid mindless eating.
-LADIES, you will not get bulky from lifting weights!! I know it’s true, even though I still fear it. What WILL make you bulky is eating the wrong foods in the wrong portions.
-Lifting is actually more beneficial to weight loss than cardio. You will burn more calories throughout the day just to maintain your fresh new muscle. Wooo! ;)
-Sleep enough, it is important. Stretch enough, it is also important.
-Vary your workouts to keep your mind and your muscles stimulated :)
-Have fun and don’t do it for anyone but yourself!!!

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