Exercises for Athletes
Yoga has long been practiced for the varied health benefits that it offers, and in recent decades it became particularly popular in the west for the physical benefits and also as a means to greater spiritualism. Many of these typical notions of yoga are however stereotypical or lopsided and in reality yoga is a wholesome physical discipline that promotes flexibility, endurance, and overall strength. All of these goals or areas of focus are shared with or are important to athletics as well. Yoga also works on your mental or emotional health, improving focus, concentration, and direction. This aspect is again invaluable to any athlete.
Yoga Conditioning for AthletesIt would therefore be only natural for many athletes to take up the practice of yoga as a means to enhance their physical and mental health, thus improving their athletics performance. Almost all athletes engaged in professional or semi professional athletic events do practice some other for of exercise or working out, so as to stay fit, maintain a competitive edge, strengthen and stretch the muscles and thereby minimize the risk of injury.
Athletes seem to be drawn towards yoga classes for athletes because of the physical intensity and mental stimulation that yoga practice offers. Yoga’s combination of physical exercises, with meditation makes it a perfect blend of mind and body fitness, also creating a similar balance in your life. Breathing exercises form an important aspect of yoga and the physical poses that we are familiar with are meant to be practiced in perfect synchronization with breathing exercises. Synchronizing your body movements with your breath is also vital to any athlete.
Moreover all of the yoga practices help to give you a greater sense of awareness, and consequentially understanding, and control over your physical and mental abilities. This is a tremendous asset for any sportsperson and athletes who do practice yoga are quite vociferous about the influence of yoga on their performance.
Keep in mind that any class or routine of yoga poses for athletes should commence with a slow and steady warm up with poses like the Sun Salutation poses. These poses prepare your body, especially muscles prone to pulls and spasms, like the hamstrings and hips. Poses like the Crane Pose, Chair Pose, and Handstand can all be included. There are a variety of poses and sequences of poses that can be formulated and every individual can choose one based on personal preferences and goals. So while runners may focus on stretches and poses for the legs, and balance, a pole vaulter may also focus on poses to strengthen the shoulders and arms.