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yoga for athletes

WHAT IS YOGA FOR ATHLETES?

Yoga for athletes is a tailored practice that is designed to fit into an athlete’s schedule and training.

The primary goal of yoga for athletes is to restore balance. This is accomplished by taking into consideration the time in your season, the intensity of your training, the sport and position you play, the movements you perform, the planes of motion you predominantly move in, your breathing patterns, any current or pre existing injuries or compensation patterns, and your level of mental strength and resilience.

Many sports involve an immense amount of repetitive movements, which results in a lot of wear and tear on your body. Although repetition is essential for mastering your skills as an athlete, it is also a primary contributor to those unfortunately common overuse injuries. Yoga for athletes addresses the imbalances in your body by building strength and stability in underdeveloped areas, and reducing tension and enhancing mobility in overdeveloped areas.

It is also a great way to provide balance from the varying intensities of your training. During your off season your yoga for athletes practice can be tailored more towards strength building and/or maintenance since the intensity and frequency of your sport specific training will be low. The regular season results in an increase in sport specific training, so your practice may focus more on maintaining mobility and managing tension. At the peak of your season, when physical and mental effort are at their highest, your yoga practise will be more slow paced and mental. It will focus on recovery and supporting you so you can maintain and improve your level of performance.

BENEFITS TO ATHLETES

The benefits of adopting a consistent yoga for athletes practice are vast, but here are a few that many athletes find the most compelling:

Yoga improves the overall physical and mental state of your body, allowing you to get even more from your training.

Improved flexibility and mobility will help you maneuver your body in ways that are most effective for generating strength and power. This, in conjunction with improved full body strength and proper body mechanics that you will gain with yoga, also allows your body to move, recruit muscles, and transmit force in the most efficient way.

Yoga can also improve your endurance. Breathing and maneuvering your body around into several different poses that demand balance and strength improves your body’s respiratory capacity, improves your circulation, and teaches you how to conserve energy by becoming more efficient with your movements.

The strength, flexibility, and improved body mechanics that you gain from a consistent yoga practice help maintain a healthy body, including healthy joints, which are common injury sites from repetitive sports movements.

Sport-specific repetitive movements also have the consequence of continuing to strengthen certain muscles while others remain underdeveloped. This creates muscular imbalances, which in time can be a precursor for aches and pains, poor range of motion, and even injury.

A yoga practice that is tailored for your sport and addresses your undeveloped muscles, can restore balance back in your body by promoting full body strength.

Yoga is an excellent way to improve your mental focus and resilience, which is an invaluable skill, and is often what differentiates the great athletes from the greatest.

Athletes are constantly training to push their limits to the max, and it’s often the athlete with the greatest mental strength that perseveres. Learning to stay focused and composed as you step outside your comfort zone is a valuable skill as an athlete, especially when the pressure and stakes are high.

Mentally challenging poses, uncomfortable sensations, and resisting the urges of your mind are all aspects of a yoga practice that help build mental toughness and sets you up to excel when faced with a challenge.

As an athlete, it can be easy to focus all your efforts on ‘doing’ and ‘pushing’ to reach that new level of peak performance. This can make taking the time to rest and be still almost unbearable.

Yoga is an excellent tool for both passive and active recovery. It can relieve physical and mental stress, gently release tension, and give your body an enjoyable break from the demands of your sport.

A consistent yoga practice can also improve your circulation and lymphatic flow, which means that it can speed up the time it takes for your body to heal and recover from your last training session or sports event.

A consistent yoga practice helps to develop a body that is healthy and resilient. With the improved ability to evade and bounce back from injuries, you can extend the amount of time that you are able to enjoy your sport in the future.

Nothing can derail your career like an injury can. So, doing what you can to stay injury free puts you in a place where you can continue to keep progressing in your sport without any unnecessary diversions.

For a more comprehensive list of benefits click here.

PRIVATE YOGA FOR ATHLETES PROGAM

If you are interested in using yoga to improve your athletic potential, I’d love to help you reach your goals.

All my clients receive a complimentary assessment that includes:

  • A discussion regarding your yoga experience, past and present injuries, your sport specific movements and training, lifestyle and health, and your goals
  • A movement assessment to determine the available mobility in certain joints of your body
  • A yoga assessment where I take you through a specifically designed yoga practice to help determine/identify any other areas of great restriction or mobility, any areas of pain, your strengths and weaknesses, and a high-level indication of the current state of your body

With this assessment I am able to identify any notable discrepancies that will require thoughtful integration into your individualized yoga program.

After determining a frequency, schedule, and duration for your yoga program you can expect tailored yoga practices designed for your unique body and its movements, periodic reviews of your goals, a teaching style that is inviting, attentive, and encouraging, and ultimately a body and mind that function and perform better in your sport.

Are you interested in working with me? I’d love to be on your team!

Learn more about working with me.

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