Are you one of those people that simply love to compete at the highest level? Do you want to be more active in your sport and possibly win an Olympic medal? Which athlete wouldn’t, right? Many athletes are not aware of the impact of becoming a Yogi. It is one of the best ways to improve your performance, increase your strength, give you peace of mind, reduce your stress level and improve your sleep. You will experience amazing results when you adopt Yoga into your daily practice regimen. Don’t believe it? Read on….
The Real Benefit
Athletes who have discovered the real benefit and value of Yoga have come to regrettably lament: “Why didn’t I try this before?” There is no doubt that Yoga makes athletes perform better at their sport, not to mention the benefits it provides to their entire well-being. Thankfully, for many athletes, this discovery was made sooner rather than later, improving their lives in remarkable and unpredictable ways – not only with regards to their sport careers as yoga athletes, but in innumerable areas of their lives.
If you were to ask the opinion of those athletes who have adopted a consistent Yoga practice routine, they would certainly tell you that there have been noticeable and positive changes in their ability to perform. If you are not using Yoga as an athlete, you are competing at a disadvantage and possible missing out on a chance to gain peak performance. Do you want to know what Yoga can really do for you and do you want to reap those benefits now and not later? Well, glad you asked! Below are several benefits, which you will definitely achieve as a Yogi, whether you’re a man or a woman.
Yoga asanas, when practiced routinely and consistently will help athletes to improve their strength and build lean muscle mass. In your specific athletic discipline, Yoga enhances and builds any under-utilized muscle groups in your body. This is a big plus for you because your core will be stabilized. Yoga will significantly strengthen the supportive, but under-developed muscles. A balance will be created, giving you more functionality and strength.
Want to improve the flexibility of your muscles and joints? Well, you can, subsequently become one of the best athletes in your sport. In fact, for structural soundness in the body, this is VERY crucial. The pliancy of your muscles and enhancement of your joints translates to a wider and effective range of motion and improved performance manoeuvring for a specific motion or series of motion. Didn’t get that? Well, let’s look at it closer. A swimmer, for example, with agile shoulders and hip joints has the ability to capture and tug more water while swimming than another swimmer with limited range of movement. As a result, the swimmer will move forward with more strokes per movement and improved muscular power. Sequentially, the swimmer’s increased range of movement provides a much more superior ability to conditioning the strength of a certain muscle group. This is due to the gradual force exerted with each motion. Even though, there is much debate about ‘over’ stretching, many athletes are still huge advocates of Yoga to maintain their flexibility and prevent overuse injury.
Most athletes usually already work on their flexibility… but balance can be an issue. Regular Yoga practice can immensely improve balance and coordination. Why is balance essential for athletes? Well, with better coordination and balance, an athlete is in control of the body’s movement, leading to improved form and technique. Whether you are focusing on perfecting your running stride, wrestling move, swim stroke or golf swing, refined balance is truly an ASSET!
Acquiring Mental Control
Yoga athletes train both your mind and your muscles. Though, it has many physical benefits, nothing can compare with its ability for mental control. Athletes, like you, may only consider Yoga as an excellent workout, which is right. However, in spite of its ability to tighten your core, tone your muscles and flatten your abs, Yoga can be used to control your mind. Once the rigorous part of your Yoga class ends, the Yoga instructor will begin the savasana or corpse pose phase. This is the phase where you get into a meditative state of mind. Now, don’t duck through the door of your Yoga class to escape the episode of quiet meditation. This, too, is important. If you ignore this session, you are missing out on the magic that happens within savasana. This part of Yoga practice is essential in cleaning up your mental and emotional clutter. It provides center, focus and encourages serenity by stopping the endless Worry-Go-Round in your head. For the athlete (and anyone for that matter), savasana carries much significance, unlocking the untouched potential within. Unearthing this kind of potential leaves room for you to become the best version of yourself.
Consistently practicing asanas followed by the appropriate savasana, you will improve the way you handle yourself as an athlete. With Yoga, you will not only be able to improve your strength, balance and flexibility, quiet the negative mental chatter and reduce all stress, but also to bravely face your biggest opponent… Yourself.