How does yoga benefit sports professionals and athletes?
Yoga is beneficial to all sports athletes by improving performance and posture, preventing injury and improving core strength, increasing flexibility and endurance.
Yoga does this by significantly increasing respiratory capacity. Studies have shown that many people have improved and also overcome asthma and other respiratory conditions through regular yoga breathing practices. As a result, yoga further improves endurance and energy levels by enhancing circulation, digestion and efficiency of motion.
Yoga builds better body awareness including improved balance, strengthening and stability through proper alignment of the spine and joints in the body. As a result, not only is performance enhanced but training becomes far more efficient and controlled with an ability to achieve our maximum capacity.
By improving body mechanics, awareness and motion, yoga dramatically reduces the risk of injury, both in training and in competition, therefore increasing competitive longevity. Should injury occur, yoga can enhance recovery by improving the circulatory and lymphatic systems. In this way, it increases strength in muscles by processing metabolic by products more efficiently, speeding up healing time.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a regular yoga practice dramatically improves your mind’s focus and clarity. The awareness and mindfulness you get from yoga can take your training and your performance to the next level.
I highly recommend Ryanne's book 'Yoga for Athletes' to any athlete who is looking to take their performance to the next level.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”