Welcome to a Joyful You

an image

How Athletes Can Step Up Their Game With Yoga

Yoga is gaining popularity in the Western world, and not just by flexible women. On the contrary, the ones who can benefit from yoga the most are actually those who are not flexible, including men. Athletes, especially, may notice the benefits of yoga in improving their game. Yoga helps athletes work on their flexibility, balance, agility, endurance, and core to build overall strength and prevent injuries.

Many are under the impression that yoga is all feminine and spiritual, but the physical benefits far exceed the stereotypes and falsifications. But in case you’re still not sold, here are just a few factoids of how yoga can help athletes step up their game.

Injury Prevention
Many sports involve repeated movements, usually in the same direction or plane of motion, which overdevelop the same muscle groups while neglecting others. These sports can develop certain muscle groups while ignoring others. Over time, this creates wear and tear on muscles and joints, leading to injuries from overuse. Yoga offers an athlete a balance to their workout, allowing them to give attention to the areas that are being worked a lot less.

“Stretching” Versus Yoga
Typically, an athlete who stretches pre and post-workout is stretching in the same overworked muscles in the same plane of motion. Yoga goes a step further by stretching muscles and joints in all ranges of motion, targeting not only major muscle groups, but activating the less-used muscles. In order for the body to remain balanced and healthy, it must be worked through all three planes of motion. Yoga involves not just in sagittal plane, but the frontal and transverse planes as well to ensure well-rounded development.

Breathe Like a Champ
Contrary to popular belief, the biggest element of yoga is not the twisty poses, but the breath. Attention to breathing is not only one of the most important aspects of yoga, but it can offer significant benefits to athletes, both physically and mentally. By concentrating on inhalations and exhalations, one is able to find focus and concentration, even through difficult poses. The same principle applies off the mat during a race, meet, or challenging workout. From a physical standpoint, breathing techniques allow for relaxation of tight muscles and anxious minds, improving overall athletic performance.

How to Start
Besides feeling a bit intimidated about stepping into a yoga studio for the first time, you also might feel overwhelmed trying to figure out what yoga class is right for you. If you're a competitive athlete, you should plan your yoga practice around your training schedule to off-set your workouts. On days that you workout at the gym, take a slow and restorative class. But on your days off, a more dynamic class will keep your endurance up.

Here at Joy Yoga Center, we offer a variety of styles, from Restorative Flows to Power Flows. Whichever avenue you choose, yoga will help you amp up your game in ways you never expected. You’ll not only have a happy body, but a happy and clear mind as well.

So now that you know some of the many benefits of yoga for athletes, come on out to Joy Yoga Center and take a class with us!

Share this Article:

Back to Main Blog