yoga for athletes

Yoga encourages mental focus and concentration, which can benefit athletes in sports that require a high level of mental acuity, such as golf, archery, or shooting. Yoga is a definite asset for athletes. Certainly, some styles of yoga for athletes are better – while avoiding some may be wise. However, the type of yoga for athletes does depend on what goal the athlete is hoping to achieve.

If you are a player or an athlete, then there is no better option than yoga for you. It has many mental and physical benefits that can enhance an athlete’s performance. From increasing mental concentration, improving flexibility and balance, and preventing injuries, to improving skills and core strength, yoga offers many benefits for athletes.

Athletes Rodney Yee says – Yoga is a great way to increase athletic abilities. It can enhance athletic performance by perfectly coordinating the mind, body, and breath. It will also help improve the game for athletes, playing stronger, flexibility, balance, coordination, and giving a positive appearance to performance.

Benefits of Yoga for Athletes  

What are the benefits of yoga that contribute to the improvement of athlete results? Keeping in mind the information that contributes to various research in this regard, yoga improves athlete performance for the following reasons.

There may be several important pieces of evidence to suggest the benefits of yoga for athletes, but scientific evidence is lacking. However, many studies have been done on stretching – there is no ideal parallel to yoga.

Yoga can help improve the physical and mental challenges that demand can be a quest for many athletes habituated over the years to a training concept. Apart from this, research also supports the benefits of yoga for athletes.

When talking about yoga, the first thing that comes to your mind is your asanas. Therefore, it is not difficult to combine your practice with improving flexibility. Asanas help us increase our ability to move muscles and joints through their full range.

A small 2016 study has proved useful to increase flexibility. Being flexible and having good movement patterns helps in speed, strength, movement intensity, and greater recovery. All those aspects improve the performance of athletes.

Daily consider mindfulness practice leads to improved mindfulness scores in athletes. it is useful for improving the skill training approach for athletes. (study)

According to a small 2020 study– Yoga practices should be developed to reduce the risk of injury to athletes.

  1. Improved Flexibility: Yoga helps increase flexibility by stretching and lengthening muscles. This can improve an athlete’s range of motion, which is essential for activities that require a wide range of motion, such as gymnastics, martial arts, and swimming.
  2. Enhanced Strength: Many yoga poses require you to support your body weight, which can help build strength, particularly in the core, legs, and upper body. This added strength can translate into improved performance in sports like weightlifting, football, and tennis.
  3. Balance and Stability: Yoga poses often involve balancing on one leg or holding positions that challenge stability. This can improve an athlete’s balance and stability, reducing the risk of injury and improving performance in sports that require agility, like basketball and soccer.
  4. Breath Control: Yoga places a strong emphasis on breath control and mindful breathing. Athletes can benefit from improved lung capacity and better control over their breath, which can be crucial for endurance sports like running, cycling, and swimming.
  5. Injury Prevention: Regular yoga practice can help prevent injuries by promoting body awareness and proper alignment. Athletes can learn to identify and correct muscular imbalances and movement patterns that may lead to injuries.
  6. Recovery: Yoga can aid in post-workout recovery by promoting relaxation and reducing muscle soreness. Gentle yoga sessions or restorative yoga poses can be especially helpful on rest days or after intense training sessions.
  7. Mental Focus: Yoga encourages mental focus and concentration, which can benefit athletes in sports that require a high level of mental acuity, such as golf, archery, or shooting.
  8. Stress Reduction: Athletes often face high levels of stress and pressure. Yoga’s emphasis on mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and enhance overall mental well-being.
  9. Visualization and Goal Setting: Yoga can be a valuable tool for visualization and goal setting. Athletes can use yoga sessions to clear their minds, visualize success, and set and refine their goals.

Style of Yoga For Athletes Training

Power yoga is a form of athletics. It also includes 12 steps of Surya Namaskar and other asanas. Compared to other yoga styles, power yoga mainly emphasizes more flexibility of the body by increasing the speed of breath. Due to this quality, power yoga for athletes is more popular.

Best Poses of Yoga For Athletes Routine

Here are a few practices of power yoga for athletes training-

1. Audho Mukha Savasana / Downward-Facing Dog

This pose provides a tremendous stretch for your shoulders, entire back, and hips simultaneously. With this yoga pose, do not force the end position. Find a comfortable stretch, and take a deep breath in and out while gradually increasing the depth of the stretch.

Steps to do:

  • For this yoga, first of all, you place a yoga mat and then sit on it with your hands and feet so that your back becomes like a table.
  • Both your hands and knees will be on the ground and the toes will be on the backside.
  • Now, while exhaling, slowly raise the waist upwards, during this time your legs and hands will also become straight.
  • Now your body will have come in the form of an inverted.
  • During this asana, the distance of hands from shoulders and feet from waist to feet is to be kept equal.
  • The hands and toes will be open at the front.
  • The neck will be straight downwards and your eye should be on your navel.
  • According to your ability, you stayed in this state for some time and then exhaled, brought the knees of the feet down, and came back to the old state.

2. Cobra Pose / Bhujangasana

This gentle backbend reduces spine stiffness, increased flexibility as well as stiffness. It gives strength to the muscles, shoulders and hamstrings, calves, and arch muscles.

How to do Bhujangasana

Steps to do:

  • Lie on your stomach by laying on a mat.
  • Your body should be absolutely straight.
  • Place the palms of both your hands near the shoulders.
  • Taking a breath, now raise the head upwards, with emphasis on the hand.
  • Your chest should also be slightly above the ground.
  • Stay in this posture for a while.
  • Leave the breath and come back to the ground.
  • You can decide the time of yoga as per your choice.
  • Do not try to force too much.

3. Camel Pose / Ustrasana

This asana is considered best for stretching the front part of the body and in addition it also makes the joints of the spine, neck, hip and shoulder flexible.

Steps to do:

  • After laying the mat, sit on it in the position of Vajrasana.
  • Now stand above both your knees with heel-toes and keep the shape of the toe of the feet inwards.
  • Now move both your hands upwards and then keep both your hands together with the ears.
  • Then hold the ankles with the claws of your hand, reversing the part of the thighs from your head.
  • After that, while keeping the neck loose, the head hangs backward, that is, it will remain bent.

4. Plank Pose / Chaturanga Dandasana

Planck also makes the balance of the body good, along with strengthening the muscles. Which can help you do another exercise. Planks are also better and more effective than sit-ups and crunches. Planck has an effect on all the important muscles in the core. This increases the ability to lift the weight and strengthen the waist.

Steps to do:

  • Lie on the yoga mats in the abdomen or in Adho Mukha savasana.
  • Keep both hands similar to Bhujangasana.
  • Keep both hands ahead of your shoulders on the ground.
  • The fingers will be facing the front.
  • Elevate both knees, emphasizing the toes.
  • Lift the bodyweight on both hands while exhaling.
  • Draw a 90-degree angle at the elbow between the upper arm and the forearm.
  • Now the whole body will come parallel to the floor.
  • In this state, the body will remain completely up.
  • Both hands and toes will stay on the ground.
  • Do this asana for 10 to 30 seconds.

5. Chair Pose / Utkatasana

Utkatasana is made up of two Sanskrit words – utkat (powerful) and asana (mudra). It is a standing yoga practice that helps tone your body and strengthen muscles. You can practice it easily.

Steps to do:

  • To practice this asana, stand upright with keep a 2 feet distance between the legs.
  • Spread your hands to the front, keeping the palms open and facing the ground.
  • Now slightly bend the knees and push the pelvis down.
  • During this time you will be in such a situation as you sit in a chair.
  • Try to be comfortable in this situation.
  • Move the hands above the head and keep it straight.
  • Keep the waist straight and in a relaxed state.
  • Take deep breaths while practicing asana.
  • As you continue to be comfortable, bend your knees a little and apply pressure downwards, but keep the waist straight.
  • Wait for a minute.
  • Then come back to the normal state and relax the body.

6. Ashtanga Namaskara / Eight Limbed Pose

This is an excellent way to replenish energy levels and profitable asana. Strengthens inner thighs. Increases flexibility in the groins and knees and increases flexibility in the bones of the hips. Assists in cooling down after the game. It is helpful in removing fatigue and standing, walking and running for long periods of time.

Steps to do:

  • Lie on your stomach on a yoga mat.
  • Both hands will remain in the normal position near the waist.
  • Bring the hands to the ribs. Will leave deep breaths outwards.
  • Try to lift the palms up. Two legs, two knees, two palms, chest, and chin will continue to touch the ground.
  • All other organs will remain up in the air.
  • Hips and abdomen will be slightly lifted.
  • Will hold your breath.
  • After this, breathing will become normal.

Conclusion

Yoga for athletes is a great way to increase athletic abilities. It may help to increase range of motion, flexibility, core strength, mobility, and coordination, all of which can enhance athletic performance. Yoga can be an excellent complement to an athlete’s existing training routine. It provides a different type of physical and mental challenge, helping to break up the monotony of daily training.

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Disclaimer

The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional