The Benefits of Yoga to Althletes

Feb 1, 2018 by

Some people are attracted to yoga because of the physical benefits of strengthening muscles and relieving pain, while others pursue the mental benefits of relaxation and stress relief. No matter which reason originally motivated your interest, you will reap benefits from practicing yoga. Everyone has the capacity to enhance the quality of their life through yoga, but the physical and mental benefits can have particular advantages for competitive athletes. Read on to discover the unique benefits to sport-minded individuals.

Firstly, yoga can be added to the repertoire of an athlete’s regimen as another means of cross-training. Because of its comprehensive nature, yoga can reach muscles that often go overlooked in any particular sport training. Also, yoga assists in lengthening muscles and keeping them agile, which can help in the prevention of joint injury and strains often encountered in athletics.

Secondly, stretching the body’s muscles can assist in releasing lactic acid. This is particularly beneficial for athletes because lactic acid tends to build up as you work out. When left in the system without release, lactic acid can cause your body to feel tired. Lengthening the muscles through stretching releases that build-up of acid and keeps them from getting tight, which means a quicker recovery time for your body after a difficult workout.

Another fantastic advantage of yoga is the development of balance. Poses that focus on balance, such as tree pose, eagle pose, cosmic dancer, and warrior three, fine tune the body’s ability to maintain stability. Increased balance can have a significant effect on an athlete’s performance as well as lower their risk of injury.

In addition to improving overall balance, yoga can assist in balancing an athlete’s musculoskeletal structure. In many sports, such as tennis, baseball, golf, and fencing, the body engages in repetitive motions that are asymmetrical, resulting in the development of uneven muscle groups. For example, it is common for tennis players to have larger muscle mass in their dominant arm that holds the racket. Sometimes, this difference is visibly noticeable! Yoga helps to realign the skeleton and balance muscle groups by working them evenly.

Athletes can reap more than just physical benefits from practicing yoga; there are a number of mental advantages, too. For example, yoga can sharpen an individual’s mental focus. Coaches of most sports would agree that a significant part of an athlete’s game is their mental determination and mindset. Meditation can boost an athlete’s positive thinking and ability to visualize. Furthermore, yoga places a focus on breathing, which can assist athletes in strenuous situations. Mindfulness and control of the breath can bring greater stamina and perseverance to an athlete’s game.

Finally, practicing yoga can help ease some of the fiery energy that is sometimes natural in competitive athletes. While an inherently competitive spirit is advantageous in a sporting match, it can sometimes cause tension outside of the game. Practicing yoga allows an athlete to foster a greater acceptance of self and bring a sense of calm to extra competitive energy that they hold off the field.

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