BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR ATHLETES
AND OUTDOOR ADVENTURISTS
Yoga Builds Strength
Yoga helps strengthen both the structural muscles that support the body’s weight, and the deep core muscles that improve athletic performance. It also improves posture and keeps you injury free while training and while living everyday life.
Yoga Improves Flexibility
Gentle, mindful yoga sequences relax and lengthen the muscles and offer a full range of motion in the joints. This improves flexibility that’s safe for muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Yoga Improves Joint Health
Using yoga poses that strengthen and balance the muscles around the joints supports joint health. A yoga practice that moves all the joints in the body in their full range of motion improves the flow of synovial fluid, which lubricates joints, allowing for smooth and healthy movement of the bones. Synovial fluid also delivers fresh oxygen and nutrients to the joint cartilage, helping to restore it and keep it healthy.
Yoga Improves Body Alignment and Self Awareness
Yoga can help to address any muscular imbalances, lengthening tight areas and strengthening weak ones. Body postures decline due to our habitual repetitive movement patterns in sports and during an average day. When we spend a long time working at a computer or texting on cell phones, we slump with rounded shoulders. Over time the back muscles become weak and the chest muscles become tight, exacerbating the rounded posture. Yoga can help stretch out the chest and strengthen the back muscles. Yoga also cultivates body and posture awareness, so that you can automatically return to a healthier alignment both while you train and throughout the day.
Yoga Improves Breath Capacity
Breathing techniques used in yoga restore balance and vitality to the body. Controlled breathing can increase energy levels, relax both the mind and the muscles, and reduce stress, all of which is beneficial to any athlete. Breath work also relieves anxiety and depression. A regular yoga practice can improve lung capacity and breathing both in healthy adults as well as those with asthma.
Yoga Improves Mental Health and Releases Stress
A balanced yoga practice incorporates the body, mind and breath with each pose. This kind of mindful movement cultivates laser focus in the present moment and eliminates constant mind chatter. This promotes positive mental health, strengthens the immune system, improves relationships and reduces depression and anxiety. It also improves sleep and enhances well-being, greatly improving quality of life. It’s a practice that continues to benefit you off the mat both in your preferred athletic endeavor and in life!