Beneficial Yoga Routines for Athletes

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When it comes to being an athlete you need mental focus, flexibility, endurance and strength. Yoga can improve all of these areas. In yoga, you’ll learn how to improve flexibility fast, how to improve mental focus, and how to boost athletic performance through increased flexibility and strength. On top of that, it is one of the best ways to prevent injuries by improving body awareness. All in all, yoga is a great compliment to any program that involves endurance and strength training.

I’ve been doing yoga for about four months now, and It has helped me immensely in every aspect of my athleticism. I am way into endurance and strength training
programs. Before, when I never did yoga, I was strong, but had no endurance or focus. I would get killed in basketball games, football games, you name it-I got beat in it. I wasn’t a superb athlete.

When I started yoga, I immediately noticed a difference. I learned how to improve flexibility fast-and I did! I felt like I had more endurance than a lot of other people- not just in cardiovascular endurance, but also in muscle endurance. I started to be able to run harder and faster, jump higher, and it helped improve my mental focus.

Another aspect of my athleticism that benefited was my overall health. I used to get ankle injuries all of the time, suffered from outside of the foot pain, and foot pain in general. When I started yoga, I found that my foot pain went away slowly but surely. My increased flexibility has also helped prevent further injuries and even heal old ones.

A lot of people may wonder, “how is this all possible?”. First, let’s start with mental focus. The core of yoga is breath. Breathing correctly is a core principal in yoga. Yoga requires one to focus on one’s breath, and in consequence, on the present moment. Focus is also improved as one must focus the mind to stay in difficult “poses” for extended periods of time. Apply this to any athletic event, and you’ll see the difference. Ever wonder how Jordan was so focused in clutch situations? I believe it was this principle. Yoga allows one to focus on the present, and channels the mind to focus on one specific thing.

Second, for flexibility. Yoga requires one to stretch- a lot. Yoga poses stretch everything from head to toe. Over time, muscles begin to loosen up with yoga, and in the process one becomes more flexible. One great benefit of this is prevention of injuries. As I mentioned earlier, yoga is one of the best ways to prevent injury. Muscles become tight with athletic performance, or endurance and strength training. As this happens, muscles may become injured. If a muscle becomes injured, other muscles will begin to compensate where the injured muscle can no longer function. This can lead to over training, and further or more complex injuries. However, yoga keeps those muscles loose, allowing them to continue to function at high performance.

Finally, endurance and strength. Even though yoga is done in a small space, it requires one to work. Holding yoga “poses” increases strength in one’s arms, legs, and even in weak spots. Being required to hold these poses for extended periods of time works on building one’s muscular and even cardiovascular endurance.

Finding a great yoga program is often the most difficult. I highly recommend this program by Van Clayton Powel called “Runner’s Yoga”. It employs short yoga routines that are easy to fit into any workout regime, and it works on improving all that I’ve mentioned.

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