Yoga for Sport
Most sports now incorporate many techniques from yoga, to improve sports performance and/or reduce injury. Others, such as premiership footballers and golfers often incorporate yogic postures and techniques into their training regime. Yoga practice can complement many other sports such as football, running, rugby, golf to name a few. Many top sports people, including Ryan Giggs and Tiger Woods have accredited their longevity, focus and success as being supported by practicing yoga. It can improve flexibility, strength and coordination, balance and focus, and also the use of the breath. Habits and skills learnt and practiced on the mat will carry over and relate to sporting performance, relationships and work life in a positive way.
Yoga practice can help with injury rehabilitation, injury prevention and sports performance. I would struggle to find a sportsperson who would not benefit from integrating yoga into their practice.
Practicing yoga helps you learn more about your body, and become more embodied and hence self aware. You may also become more conscious of poor habits such as lazy posture, stressed breathing patterns and lack of focus. However you also learn the techniques to begin to rectify and improve these habits. Focus and concentration, calmness and creativity are all improved by regular yoga practice. For example a simple posture such as standing on one leg and really taking the focus to the breath allows us to shut off other external distractions. By excluding the outside noises and focusing in the breath, movement and structure of the body and the posture we become more aware within ourselves.
Doing yoga can stimulate the immune system, aid effective digestion and generally help the body to work more effectively. Many students also notice that increased awareness of their body and generally feeling healthier encourages other healthy choices such as better nutrition. It reduces stress and tension, both of which can encourage unhealthy choices, as well as directly lowering body fat and helping in weight management. As well as improving how you feel and how you look, yoga