Complement Your Sport
A successful athlete is a balanced athlete. Even with the best intentions, repetitive-motion activities tend to create imbalance in the body either through the shortening/tightening of soft tissue, misalignment of skeletal structure, or over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system (stress response).
Yoga provides us with multiple tools to address imbalance on many levels. However, there are many different styles of yoga to choose from, and tens of thousands of teachers, each with varying degrees of experience. For endurance athletes, the emphasis in our yoga practice must be on recovery, especially during the competitive season.
There are specific postures (asanas) that are beneficial to cyclists, runners and multisport athletes. They help create harmony in the physical body, realigning, restoring and maximizing quality of health and physical functioning. The right asana practice helps us improve circulation, freedom of movement, alignment and mobility of the joints, organ and system function, awareness and concentration.
As we develop physical harmony and balance, mental equanimity follows. In this respect, yoga allows us to utilize the mind as a tool, mastering its usefulness while eliminating sources of suffering. This foundation provides a deeper level of awareness and connection with the true self.
Benefits of Yoga for the Athlete
- Improves musculoskeletal alignment
- Stimulates circulation and organ function
- Increases metabolism of stored fat
- Improves muscular recovery
- Increases body/self awareness
- Creates a greater equilibrium of strength
- Increases range of motion
- Injury prevention
- Mental clarity and strength
“Health is firmness in body, stability in mind, and clarity in thinking.” –BKS Iyengar