We are all aware of the relaxation, health and strength benefits we get from practicing yoga, and those alone are enough to continue with our sun salutations.
But did you know that major athletes, NFL players, swimmers, rugby and football teams often incorporate yoga into their training routines?That’s because yoga can do so much more for you, and the coaches of the sporting giants know it.
Here’s how yoga can improve your performance regardless of your chosen sport.
Yoga helps to loosen and lengthen your muscles. Any athlete knows, the muscles that are worked the most are the ones that build the fastest. The issue with this is that it can create imbalances in our muscular structure. Yoga is an excellent sport to mitigate this.
The yoga poses work to strengthen all your muscles meaning, you get a more even tone and strength distribution. This stops certain muscles from working harder to compensate for others. In addition, it works to stretch and lengthen the muscles stopping them from creating balls of muscular tissue.
Yoga increases flexibility, and this is incredibly important when practicing correct form, and especially so for any sports with a swing type range of motion. If you look at your body right now, you may find your shoulders are slightly hunched, like a vulture. Pull them backward, while pulling your armpits to the floor.
You will most likely feel a slight tightness in the muscles over your chest. This ‘vulture’ posture is a product of humans sitting in front of their computers playing online betting NZ, looking down at their smartphones and spending hours in traffic, hunched over the steering wheel.
Those tight chest muscles need to be made more flexible, so that your body can relax into its natural posture. This increased flexibility also allows us to open our chests and use our lungs to their full capacity. This is invaluable on its own, and even more so for athletes who participate in any type of cardio endurance sport.
Balance and Stability
Balance does more than just keep us standing upright, but is crucial in preventing injury. It ensures we have the correct posture which means we can execute the movement required to participate in our chosen activity correctly, without favouring particular muscle groups.
Balance also improves stability. Whether this is while we are running down a steep hill or holding a complex yoga pose, it is our balance and stability that enable us to do so with out injury.
Endurance, Focus and Commitment
Yoga forces us to listen to our bodies, to concentrate and to focus on our breathing. Any extreme athlete will tell you that when it comes to finishing a race, it is as much, if not more, pure mental will.
While practicing the yoga Asanas you are forced to concentrate on your position, breathing and finally, when you get to that time in the pose, where your glutes are vibrating, and your quads are on fire, you focus and push through which teaches discipline, focus on the end goal, and commitment to reaching it.
t teaches you to endure which is beneficial to so many sports.
Yoga cannot replace all sport, but it certainly can compliment and enhance the rest of your training regime. Incorporating yoga into your routine will open another dimension to your training, and it is recommended that if yoga is your exercise of choice, that you add in some cardio training to create a balanced workout.