Sport and Yoga –
Better Performance, More Stamina, Quicker Recovery
Sport and yoga isn’t a new combination. In ancient India yoga was used by the greatest exponents of the physical arts to increase energy and performance and to achieve the mental focus and awareness necessary to perform at the highest level.
If you perform sports then you are probably looking for four things;
Better concentration and focus
Improved recovery times
The great news is that incorporating yoga into your training schedule will give you all of these. Of course, each sport will have its own individual requirements. Yoga for athletes may have a slightly different emphasis than yoga for golfers, but basically they share most of the same moves.
Increase Energy Levels With Yoga
If you are used to working out in the gym you generally use up a lot of energy. With yoga you actually build up internal energy. This is known as prana, the same thing the Chinese call chi. Prana is the energy that gives life, and even if the word is new to you, you know when your prana level is high – you feel alive, powerful and calm.
Doing yoga can help prevent injuries and is a great way to shortening recovery times as the deep stretches help increase oxygen flow and reduce the amount of lactic acid in your muscles.
By regularly doing yoga breathing exercises the capacity of your lungs is increased, giving you much greater oxygen capacity. Yoga breathing also helps keep the mind and body calm and focussed, essential when the pressure starts to build in competitive sport.
The number of top sportsmen doing yoga is growing. From the Notre Dame basketball team featured in the above video, to top soccer starts like Ryan Giggs of Manchester United, these guys only focus on getting the best. We should take notice when they follow a particular discipline. Bringing sport and yoga together will pay big dividends for you.
Useful resource: If you would like a short and powerful yoga routine specifically aimed at sportsmen then check out my review of the Runners Yoga program.