Yoga for Sports
by Leslee Schenk Trzcinski, former pro athlete and certified yoga instructor, Tune Yoga
It's a game changer
Daily comments from pro athletes, sports stars, amateur participants or even weekend warriors reveal how yoga has elevated their game — on and off the field. A regular yoga practice promises greater flexibility and range of motion, faster recovery, less injury, sharper mental alertness, greater use of the breath and the gift of real recovery.
It's a life changer
. Yoga will:
- Help you stay in your sport for many years to come
- Boost power and mobility simultaneously
- Speed recovery by improving circulation
- Correct imbalances that cause overuse injuries
- Neutralize pain from tight muscles and stiff joints
- Develop true muscle power without excess bulk
- Strengthen the core — the center of it all no matter what sport
- Improve spatial awareness and promote proper alignment
- Accelerate the healing process of existing injuries
- Provide a critical biofeedback tool — listen to your body
- Be 24/7 — practice anytime, anywhere
Most sports have repetitive motions in one direction, leaving certain muscle groups more developed while others forgotten. This results in muscle and joint imbalances leading to overuse injuries. For example, tight hamstrings and hip flexors will cause the body to recruit from other joints putting undue stress on areas that eventually get injured as the body can only compensate so long. Medically speaking, athletes commonly develop overuse injuries involving the hamstrings, hip flexors, illiotibial band (ITB), knees, and shoulders. Misalignment, instability, lack of flexibility, and poor core strength are to blame. Yoga helps alleviate chronic tightness, builds a strong core, aligns the spine and brings balance and greater centering.
And there’s more… proper breathing techniques honed in a regular yoga practice bring greater mental focus – putting you ‘in the zone.’ While critical to gaining a competitive advantage, breathing practice is often ignored. Breathing techniques learned in yoga teach use of the full breath from the stomach, ribs and chest. The mind and body connection gained transition onto the field for greater endurance, recovery, stamina, and even speed. Off the field you’ll walk tall through better posture and mental confidence, while you’re ‘in the zone’ 24/7.