Sports and recreation folks are starting to discover how effective yoga is when used in conjunction with other things you like to do such as sports like soccer and baseball or recreation like running and swimming. From building core strength to stretching to keep you limber, yoga is worth adding to your routine.
What do all sports and activities like it have it common? They require you to be flexible, strong and have good endurance in order to enjoy them. No matter what physical activity you choose to enjoy, you will need to be flexible, sturdy and relatively strong in order to really succeed. And yoga can help you get there faster. Furthermore, yoga helps in the after-effects of these sports, from teaching you how to stretch to cool down your muscles to helping you recover from injuries faster, so it really is a beginning to end supplement for any sports or activity.
Yoga to Start
If you want to take part in any sort of recreational activity, though any sport in particular, yoga can help to condition you for it. The most basic forms of yoga such as the common Asana poses can help to improve flexibility and endurance so that you can get out on the field/rink and play harder, longer. Yoga sessions aren’t terribly long every day, so you won’t have to worry too much about your schedule.
People often underestimate just how important it is to be flexible when playing sports-until they have to contort themselves to catch a ball, hit a puck, or dance! Yoga can make this transition a lot easier. The eight ‘limbs’ of yoga are great tools for athletes as well, teaching things like breathing, posture, and improving core strength.
Don’t stop doing yoga when you score your first winning goal! Yoga continues to deliver fantastic benefits to even the most seasoned athlete; indeed, more and more trainers are recommending a regime of yoga as supplements. Yoga trains you to listen to your body and pay attention when you are feeling overstrained and by listening, you can prevent injuries. Yoga also teaches you how to focus and concentrate on your goals so that you can learn to shut out distractions in the game and keep your mind on the ball. And of course, yoga continues to improve endurance, flexibility and strength.
Yoga After Sports
Yoga continues to be helpful even if you can not longer hit the field. The main advantage of yoga here is the ability to help people recover from injuries a little faster. It is particularly helpful for knee and back pains because it improves blood flow and oxygen levels. And if you have retired from the field, yoga is still useful to you; even seniors can get huge benefits from yoga.
But what if you just want to start running? Or swimming? Or horseback riding? Yoga can still do a great deal of good. Although most people concentrate on how yoga can help athletes (guilty here; I know I just spent a whole blog talking about it), the same things which help athletes will also help those who don’t want to compete but would rather get more outdoors time. Swimming, riding, running… all these things also require strength and flexibility and a great deal of endurance.
So don’t think of yoga as a stand alone activity. It is actually one of the best things you can do to supplement other activities in your life to let your get the most enjoyment with fewer injuries.
Whether you’re a hardened athlete, a weekend runner, or you are training for a marathon, yoga will help you get stronger, more flexible and tougher so that you can get the most out of the rest of your physical activities!