What can yoga give to athletes? If in brief – increase in strength, endurance, clarity of consciousness, calmness, as well as a more healthy sleep. Moreover, yoga is not just another type of active physical training; it is much more: by starting regularly, you will see that you become better as a person, your life and your environment, family, relationships – everything is improving. Yoga – this, in fact, a way of life, covering all its aspects. Of course, you do not have to let her into all spheres of your life, but if you do this, you will never regret it.
What kind of sport is yoga more useful?
In fact, in any, because it’s not a concrete complex, sharpened for a specific sport, but in a sophisticated approach that creates the conditions for the transition of our body and mind to a new, qualitative level. This has a very positive effect on both sports performance and satisfaction from life.
Strengthening of muscles
Regular practice of various yoga postures (asana), as well as breathing exercises (pranayama), helps to strengthen the muscles, develop a qualitatively new strength, and also improve muscle elasticity and mass. Especially the effect of yoga is noticeable in such disciplines as swimming, running and cycling. Yoga and swimming is a long-known combination, very harmonious and useful. Improves the strength and endurance of the body as a whole, and not only individual muscle groups, which provides additional effectiveness, both during training and during competitions. The whole point is that our body is a single system in which all parts interact with each other. By acting positively on the entire system, we also strengthen its parts, making their functioning optimal.
Another interesting point: in our body, there are muscles that work more, there are those – which work less. Even if we have strong muscles, an injury can happen when the load moves from the primary muscle fibers to those that are less developed. Also, even strong muscles can injure weaker ones. There is still a relationship between them. For example, you have strong arms, you can lift weights, but at some point, the load is not distributed as it should, and you can stretch your back, for example, or the tendons on your legs, etc. So yoga for muscle strengthening is very effective.
If you, for example, are a swimmer, your body is strong enough and flexible, but what about balance and coordination? Thanks to the practice of yoga, you can develop an excellent balance, which is very important, because it helps to better control the movements of the body, its position in space. And this, in turn, improves your technique in general, regardless of what kind of sport you are doing.
Yoga for flexibility this is perhaps one of the most important pluses of yoga – the development of deep and stable flexibility. This flexibility is, indeed, impressive. It differs from the usual stretching exercises in that:
Relaxation does stretching (although the muscles are pre-heated by various yoga postures)
The process of stretching muscles and tendons in yoga is more associated with holding a particular posture than with the number of repetitions of this posture. In other words, if you stretch the muscles of the back, pelvic area and hamstrings with the help of pachimottanasana. Instead of doing this pose many times, you limit yourself to a few short approaches to prepare the body, then take the final pose, and try to relax, as much as possible. The important point in this practice is that, for a long time in a certain position, the body “gets used” to it, making your stretch, although more time-consuming (though it is not necessary), but more stable and stable, because Your body will get used to such a state, and will keep it for a longer time.
And why good flexibility is needed, I think, it is not necessary to explain. Although, in a nutshell, it will help to avoid injuries, increase the amplitude of the movements (and therefore improve the technique), make the muscles work more economical and effective because of their increased elasticity. Of course, there is also such a phenomenon as “overstretch”, but if you correctly perform yoga asanas, then this phenomenon does not threaten you.
Increase in concentration
The impact of yoga on the mind and psyche of a person as a whole often escapes the attention of popular teaching methods. The physical side of yoga is always more interested in people because of its effectiveness and “intelligibility”, while mental work is often associated with something “incomprehensible.” However, yoga is multifaceted; even performing asanas and pranayama, you will feel the real good for your mind and psyche. If you go further and supplement your yoga practice with meditation, it not only “optimizes” your emotional sphere (allowing you to enjoy life more). But also it has a positive effect on the physical form, as it has long been established that the mind and body are closely interrelated (for example, when you experience severe stress, it can lead to muscle cramps, back or stomach pain, and even to an ulcer).
The other side of mental practices is to work on the body with the mind. For example, the simplest option is the execution of Shavasana (a relaxing posture after the basic yoga complex). Thanks to deep relaxation, both in the body and in mind, a person qualitatively rises to a new level and receives the maximum benefit from his training. Also, emotional control develops (especially when practicing meditation), which allows you to efficiently and less “painfully” overcome life’s difficulties. Also, the ability to focus and deeper perceive reality is growing.
The physical side of yoga was initially conceived to curb the mind, to stop the internal mental dialogue (or monologue), to reveal the full potential of man.
The mind, like muscles, can be trained, “pumped”, making it more manageable and flexible. Usually, we are not able to control our mind, we often do not even know how it is done. But the practice of yoga will help us succeed in this, revealing for us a new, previously unknown, but fascinating side of life.
You can write a lot of exciting things about the subtle influence of yoga on a person, his consciousness, but you will understand this by starting to study seriously.
Do not forget about the therapeutic effect of yoga practice. Effective yoga for the muscles of the back, for the muscles of the abdomen, while not only strengthening the muscles, but also the restoration of the functioning of internal organs is happening, if we talk about the back, this is a healthy spine. Strengthening the muscles of the abdomen with the help of yoga leads to the normalization of the work of the internal organs – so the yoga postures work: complexly and harmoniously. Also, regular yoga classes will not only make you stronger, more enduring and flexible, but will also accelerate the recovery process, both after competition or training and after injuries. In other words, your health will improve.
Yoga for athletes is a great way to not only develop and improve your body in a variety of ways but also, if necessary, an excellent option for rehabilitation after injury or after leaving the sport. After all, we all know that in this sport there is a rigorous discipline and huge loads that not every organism can withstand. Even if you were not lucky enough to perform at the Olympics, this does not mean that you did not carry huge loads and did much less. Moreover, each is individual and all have different, so to speak, raw data. Someone to bear heavy burdens is normal, but someone has applied to this great effort since childhood and everything was given to him heavier than others. If you left a big sport, then yoga will be an excellent option for your body, in which he can take advantage of the opportunity to recover.