Emily Silver is a 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist in Swimming and is currently a Swim & Yoga Instructor in the Pacific Northwest. She's been a 500-hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher since 2014, and swam competitively for most of her life. Whether you want to improve your flexibility and balance through yoga, become more proficient in the water, or simply make a positive lifestyle change, Emily Silver has something to offer you.
MY YOGA PRACTICE
I can still remember my first yoga class back in 2004. I was a freshman on the swim team at the University of California Berkeley, my sister, a junior on the team, told me to pretend to be an upside down "V" when I was doing downward facing dog, it not only made me smile, but it helped me understand what my body was supposed to be doing, in very simple terms. My love for yoga developed over the years, and in 2014 I became a certified yoga instructor after completing a 500 hour teacher training in Montreal, Canada.
I believe that yoga is for everyone, and I think the hardest part is simply to begin. If you’ve taken a yoga class and you didn’t like it, take another! You will find there are many different styles, and each teacher is unique in the way they teach. I think there are many ways we can tap into our bodies and go deeper through yoga, and I love guiding students on this journey.
MY SWIMMING CAREER
What you know, is that I am an Olympic Silver medalist. What you might not know, is that I broke my right hand in two places the day after I made the 2008 Olympic team. I had 5 weeks until the 4x100m freestyle relay, and absolutely no idea how I was going to swim, just that I wasn’t going to let my childhood dream slip away. Right after leaving the hospital where the doctor had delivered the news, I made a conscious decision to do whatever needed to be done to prepare for that one moment.
After hand surgery, and a lot of kicking, I did everything I could to mentally prepare myself for that one race. Little did I know, that Jack Bauerle, the head coach of the U.S. women’s swim team, would ask me to do a time trial three days before the actual relay swim. I had to go under 55 seconds, if not, they were going to put an alternate on the relay. My best time was 54.74. You can see the outcome of that time trial in the video above. Not only did I overcome a broken hand, but I re-qualified for the Olympic team in Beijing. I went on to swim in the prelims of the relay, and helped the U.S. to earn a Silver Medal.
Looking back, I have asked myself countless times why this happened, why did I have to break my hand the day after making my childhood dream a reality? What I’ve realized is that this story is meant to be shared, it’s a story of overcoming adversity against all odds. It’s about realizing what the human body and mind are truly capable of. Throughout our lives, we will face numerous challenges and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but it’s all about our mindset and understanding we can achieve anything we truly want in life.
"Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle and sometimes fierce, actions that can really make a difference - in our lives and those of others."