Lately, we’ve become more familiar with the benefits of yoga – from television to magazine to family and celebrities. Yoga has become a part of our culture as many of us consider yoga as a form of strengthen, when it is definitely more than that. From Ultramarathon runners to Olympic athletes and NFL stars, athletes have praised yoga to be an invaluable addition to their athletic training. In fact, when practiced properly, yoga can improve every level of your performance from speed to endurance to power – while promoting overall wellness and health and benefits of yoga for athletes.
With its focus on coordination, balance and flexibility, yoga can provide amazing benefits of yoga for athletes. Not only does yoga strengthen and train the body, this practice also sharpens the focus and concentration of the athlete. As there is no one-size-fits-all routine for yoga, there are many different types available. In this article, we will take a better look at how yoga for athletes will make them great at any sport.
Types of Yoga for Athletes
Athletes from any sport can usually handle the demands and gain the benefits and advantages of yoga for athletes. Two of the most common types of yoga is the Vinyasa and Hatha. Iyengar yoga focus on the alignment of the body with rigid and precise movements. On the other hand, Ashtanga yoga works to improve the strength, balance and stretch of the back muscles – making it ideal for cyclists and runner and yoga for athletes.
Bikram yoga performs a series of twenty-six yoga poses that is performed in a heated room of at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It can provide an amazing stretch for all of the body’s muscles. However, keep in mind that this form of yoga is intense and athletes must be cautious of overexerting or overtraining their body.
7 Best poses of yoga for Athletes
Just as a fitness expert breaks down routines into categories, yoga allows 7 basic forms of movement that are vital to performance and health. Here’s why you should include poses of yoga for athletes into your yoga session:
Builds upper-body and core strength and improves the body and balance awareness
Increase proprioception, stabilization, and body awareness
Builds strength in legs as well as flexibility in the hamstrings and hips.
Promotes balance in the autonomic nervous system and posterior chain.
Improves respiration, digestion, elimination, and posture.
Improves shoulder mobility, posture, digestion, respiration, elimination, and overall healthy nervous system and spine.
Enhances circulation in legs and improves immune function.
Be sure to include a few of these steps whenever possible. Find out which poses of yoga for runners work best for you and gradually increase over time.
Benefits of yoga for athletes
Yoga increases power and flexibility
As power, speed and strength are strongly related to proper body-mechanics, we can transmit force when our body is properly aligned. Regardless of what sport you play, allowing your body to reach its optimal alignment through yoga will help you improve efficiency, reduce power-leakage in your performance, and help you jump, throw and punch better than before. The more you are able to move through various planes of motion, the more leverage you will gain at contact. Yoga will help you increase your overall flexibility and overall better performance.
Yoga promotes better endurance
Yoga allows your body to increase its respiratory capacity by opening your posture. In fact, many have claimed to overcome respiratory conditions such as asthma just through regular practice of yoga. It has also been proven to enhance digestion, circulation, efficiency of motion, along with energy and endurance.
Yoga prevents Injury
Have you had a knee surgery or torn a rotator cuff muscle? Think about the recovery program. Most likely, it is your stabilizers that would need to repair the most and yoga does a great job of strengthening those muscles. By improving body-mechanics, yoga for athletes will dramatically reduce the risk of injury and increase the longevity to allow consistent progress in your sport.
If you suffer from joint pain, yoga for runners has been proven to be more effective than supplements for joint pain as a daily practice can reduce muscle stiffness, joint pain relief and overall better health.
Yoga improves your focus
Athletes often talk about “being in the zone” when in the game. Moments like these happen when the player focuses on playing their best throughout the game through visualization. Athletes want to silence the background noise around them and focus – which yoga helps to quiet the mind.
Yoga can provide the sense of mindfulness and self-awareness that you need in order to take your training and performance to the next level of the game.
Yoga enhances recovery
Perhaps of the less-appreciated but highly significant benefits of yoga is how yoga can improve recovery by increasing endurance and strength to enhance the lymphatic flow and circulation. This allows the muscles to process metabolic byproducts faster while speeding re-growth and healing time.
Of course, there any plenty more benefits from yoga for male athletes in addition to the list above. Yoga can be proven to improve hormonal balance, immune function, stress management – which are all vita to athletes. Along with yoga, following a healthy eating plan will keep athletes at tip-top shape on and off season. Add yoga into your training and found out why so many athletes can considered yoga as the most valuable routine in their training and conditioning.
Daisy Grace works as a content coordinator for Global Internet Magazine. She specializes in women’s health and also explores topics related to general health and beauty. Daisy loves studying the latest trends in cosmetics and skin care, but her experience extends further than that. She writes on all aspects of women’s health and beauty skin care and also various product reviews.