The Benefits of Yoga in Sports

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The use of yoga as a supplementary exercise routine can improve the performance of any sport. Yoga is the catalyst that gives a sports player or an athlete that extra edge against the competition. The benefits of yoga in sports have been documented and attested by successful athletes and sportsmen.

In yoga, the different postures coordinate the breath with the movements and by holding the postures, the various muscles of the body are stretched and strengthened. These postures are an ideal complement to other forms of exercise, such as jogging, running, and cycling as they systematically work all the major muscle groups at the neck, back, shoulders, hips, hands, feet and even ankles.

Yoga postures affect the major and minor muscle groups as they increase flexibility and import strength. Sustained stretching and contraction of the muscle groups in the postures and the deep breathing involved help to send oxygen to the cells in the body.

Muscular strength and stamina is what most sport activity builds and often in specific areas of the body. This imbalance in muscular development can be solved with yoga as it enables the mind and body to coordinate with each other and function more efficiently. Yoga will enhance the flexibility of the muscles and joints and as a result, the athlete or sports person will be less prone to injuries. Yoga improves and complements the ability of the athlete in any sport that he chooses.

An example of a sport that is prone to uneven muscle development is golf, where the golfer only swings in one direction using the same muscle groups all the time. Yoga postures stretch the muscles and ease muscular tension on the affected muscle groups while it regulates the other muscle groups that are seldom utilized in golf. The standing yoga poses also improves the golfer’s balance and flexibility.

For cyclists, the yoga back postures can relieve stiffness of the back that is bent over the handle bars when cycling for long periods of time. Stretching poses also help to ease the stiffness in the legs and shoulders of the cyclist. Doing light yoga is perfect before and after a cycling event as a warm-up and warm-down routine.

Strenuous sports such as tennis and racquet ball can benefit with yoga as well as it enables the players to be more focused and alert as the sport requires fast reactions to the ball. The flexibility and mobility of the hips and shoulders are crucial in the success of the game and yoga certainly can improve in these departments.

The benefits of yoga in sports cannot be ignored. Its mind and body connection brings more focus, attention, flexibility, mobility, energy and strength which is very much needed to stay ahead of the competition.