The benefits of yoga for athletes

Improving your performance in a particular activity certainly does require a lot of sport specific practice, however there are several other components that play a role in becoming a better all around athlete. I always encourage my clients to work on cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and of course core strength, but what about the psychology of training and competition? There are certainly days when training for a particular sport or event can seem therapeutic, however there are many days when it definitely seems like a lot of work. Work both physically and mentally to stay focused and push through your training. 

I recently have put more effort into getting back to yoga as part of my weekly workouts. I had taken Yoga for several years, guided by some wonderful instructors and had noticed many wonderful benefits. However, until recently I didn’t truly grasp all of the physical and psychological benefits that regular yoga practice can provide. Often athletes will skip the ever important post workout stretch and it is very easy to not be 100% present mentally when it comes to training as well as anything else in life that should require focus. Yoga, when done with the proper intention can provide several benefits for athletes as well as the general population.

  • Stretching tight muscles
  • Opening the joints to create greater range of motion and decrease risk of injury
  • Increased core strength
  • Mental focus; allowing one to be “in the moment” and not multitasking
  • Learning to focus on breath and physically stay strong

Weekly yoga practice can allow for a time out from pounding and grinding on mile after mile. It allows the body and mind to relax and reconnect. For those of us who get caught up in the stress of work, family and all of life’s other complications, yoga is an excellent option for just being in the moment.


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