Yoga can be extremely beneficial to athletes. Many athletes do not think that yoga fits into their very intense training schedules nor do they even consider making time for it. This is because of the misconception about yoga, to them yoga is just stretching and breathing and that to then cannot be beneficial to them.
Yoga, however, can be essential to assisting an athlete during their recuperation. Yoga practice can include a variation of dynamic flexibility training, strengthening poses, core stabilization and balance work. These can help in speeding the recovery of an athlete after workouts, improve their motion of range, etc.
There are several more reasons why athletes should consider yoga as part of their training:
Most athletic professions and the training involved may result in an athlete’s body being imbalanced and tightened. Practicing yoga can increase the athlete movement within their joints and muscles and subsequently offer greater ease of motion.
Due to the nature of yoga, it generally has a positive effect on your balance in everything you do. The various positions and postures assist in developing one’s proprioception which is the awareness of your body’s position in space. These are all important benefits for an athlete.
- Mental focus and calmness under pressure
Admittedly there are many pressures experienced by athletes and yoga helps athletes to bring a sense of awareness and focus in their lives. The use of one’s breathe during yoga helps calm the chatter on one’s head and focus solely on one’s breathing and movement which helps calm one’s mind and release any tension.
- Body Awareness
Yoga plays an intricate role in developing an intimate relationship with one’s body, its movement, and the areas that are in pain and where you hold your emotions. Through yoga, athletes can become aware of what their body needs and how their choice can affect the body mind and emotions.
Through practicing yoga athletes can become more aware of small differences in their body that they would not have noticed before starting yoga. Through the unison movement of their body mind and soul as one, they are able to develop their strength, endurance and stability.
- Core strength
This is a necessity in all active sports as it is the key to a strong healthy spine, good posture and overall strength as the core carries the upper body. Yoga helps you drive power from your center whilst simultaneously giving you the support to land on your feet.
- Endurance and recovery time
Yoga can help athletes’ endurance through training their bodies to do movements over many breaths. Overtime an athlete will be able to do more in less breaths. Yoga can also with an athlete’s recovery as it can condition, lengthen and release tissue which aids in the recovery of an injury and can in some cases shorten the recovery period.
There are many athletes today who practice yoga as they have found that yoga has played a pivotal role in improving their athletic careers.