Yoga is a discipline much similar to sports. It requires dedication, practice, consistency and determination. It deepens over time with consistent practice of asana’s developing strength, power and flexibility into the body. It brings with it huge body awareness which helps to maintain a healthy body and helps to prevent injury.
Benefits of Sports Yoga are as follows:
- Strengthens muscles
- Increases stamina
- Increases joint stability
- Reduces the risk of injury to e.g. ankles, knees, hips and back
- Creates greater flexibility especially in the calves and hamstrings
- Builds core strength and stability
- Develops breath control and awareness
- Develops and improves focus and concentration
Breathing exercises develop lung capacity which improves overall performance in any field. Meditation and mindfulness develop deep focus and awareness.
Yoga’s benefit to sports people is you may have overworked some muscles during training and created imbalance in your body if you haven’t worked the opposing muscle to the same degree. Muscle tension or overuse during training coupled with inadequate stretching before / after workout can also be to blame. This can lead to a weakness in your body, as a reoccurring injury also hampers your performance record.
By stretching out your muscles daily you will see an enormous improvement in your flexibility in a matter of a just a couple of weeks. Awareness and connection to your own body will help to prevent future injury by alerting you when something feels wrong.
Breath work helps to bring calmness and clarity to the mind which in turn brings greater awareness, focus and concentration. These are tools you learn to draw on and apply whilst competing giving you a greater edge in your sports performance.