With summer sports in full swing, triathlons and marathons on the horizon, this is a great opportunity to discuss the athletic side of yoga for sports.
Yoga for Sports
Yoga is for everyone at any age. Working through a yoga session delivers on strength, flexibility, agility, endurance, core and overall fitness. Any athlete can benefit hugely by adding yoga to their training regimen.
Here’s a list of just a few main reasons that yoga can benefit your athletic abilities brought to you by Ann Green, world class athlete and owner of BLiSS Ann Green Yoga.
The balancing poses in yoga can actually improve balance in everything we do. Good balance can help prevent falls and injuries. Learning to soften up a rigid stance and go with the flow we can more easily bend rather than break or fall over. Trail running with unsure footing comes immediately to mind.
We’ve been taught for years that yoga improves flexibility. With better flexibility comes ease of movement as well as range of motion. Athletes on the golf course or tennis courts (any sports that require a swinging motion) will generally find far less strains happening during their play time.
Many people don’t equate yoga with strength training, but no amount of weight-lifting with free weights will give you the strength that consistently holding up your own body weight will.
The endurance that the ease of yoga gives you lends to endurance sports like running, Iron Mans, triathlons and lake swimming. Yoga helps you pace yourself, even helping you to find a meditative state. Learning to tune in to your body, heart rate and breathing teaches pacing to go for the long haul.
Almost every movement in yoga works on strengthening your core. A strong core equals a healthy back. A healthy back equals a much healthier body all the way round.
A complete session of yoga works through every muscle group. This helps strengthen all the smaller stabilizing muscles that tend to be missed in many workouts. Again, these muscles are vital in protecting your joints and spine (among other things).
Yoga elongates all your muscles that as an athlete you spend so much time contracting. If injured, yoga can help an athlete to tune into their bodies needs.
Yoga for Sports
Yoga can change the way that you think and approach most everything in life. Your body will open with your mind, increasing for flexibility and enjoyment of your chosen sport even further.
For more information on how yoga can be used to better your personal choices in sports, check out Ann Green BLiSS Yoga. Ann, being a world class athlete, is able to give you direction and assistance to keep you at the top of your game.
Written By: Jane Laker
Photo Credit: Veronika Kovecses