We all know that yoga can reduce the stress, but how can it help athletes reaching their goals? Here are 4 ways.
In the world of sport and fitness, we usually find ourselves tied to a group: like the yoga doers, weightlifters, marathon runners, trainers, cyclers, etc. The good news is that you do not have to swear loyalty to one of them and give up on others. If you usually hang out with a group of enthusiasts of your sport, but have always wanted to be part of a yoga group, we encourage you to enjoy the benefits of these two disciplines and use one to complement the other. . The combination of any sport and yoga allows you to simultaneously work your body and mind, thus by improving your flexibility, developing your strength, preventing muscle pain and emptying any negativity that could potentially hinder your progress. Is yoga what you lack to improve your performance? Here's how to find out:
Are you the least flexible person of your training partners?
In this case, you need yoga. If you frequently use the same muscles over and over again, they will become particularly tense. And when a specific muscle is too tight, your body starts to use other muscles instead, in order to avoid injury. It may seem like a good solution, but if the substitution muscles are not sufficiently trained, they may suffer a tear or a stretch. That's where the flexibility comes in. It allows you to keep your muscles and joints relaxed, and softer muscles are able to move more efficiently and also recover more quickly. But how does yoga improve the flexibility? The active stretching, the type of stretching you would do in a yoga class, is actually far away from the simple "toe-touch" movement you might expect. With active stretching, the opposite muscle to the one you stretch is contracted, in this way is pushing you actively into the stretching position. Keep in mind that your range of motion is slightly reduced during active stretching compared to the passive stretching, because you have to use your own muscle strength to reach a specific position. However, combining both stretching and the muscle building help you develop a good stability and, as a result, protect your joints over time. Translation: you become more flexible and less subject to injuries.
Is your breathing your weak point?
In this case, you need yoga. If you have ever attended a yoga class, you probably know that much of the practice is just about focusing on your breathing. This helps you not only to relax, but also it allows you to develop breathing habits that you can then apply to your workout. Focus on breathing and learn to breathe more deeply, which means to more efficient oxygen delivery, more complete exhalation and better functioning of the muscles as a whole. The time has come to say goodbye to inefficient preparation.
Are your training sessions ruined by all those stressful days in the office?
In this case, you need yoga. Yoga is all about developing a connection between your body and mind through a combination of postures, controlled breathing and meditation. Often, when faced with life events or when there is a lot of pressure at work, our training program suffers because we have our minds elsewhere. But as the stress is completely in our head, it can be controlled by just spending a little extra time on our yoga mat. Learning to focus on one thing at a time can be difficult at first, but it can really be worth it to slow down the flow of your thoughts and to become aware of your breathing. Once you have learned to develop your concentration, you can use it for your competitions and reach a new PB. Whether you meditate during the course or that you maintain a challenging posture over a longer period of time, yoga will help you feel more in tune with your body and help you to achieve lasting results.
Do the sore muscles bothering you while training?
In this case, you need yoga. It has been shown that stretching regularly helps prevent muscle pain. That does not mean stretching 10 minutes after your workout, but rather, performing a separate and complete stretching session on your recovery days. More specifically, the combination of stretching and relaxation of your muscles during a yoga session encourages the blood flow to the damaged muscle tissue, so that you're back on your feet again for your next training session, and in no time.
It's time for you to get out of your comfort zone and to release the yoga in you. You never know ... it could well be the boost that your performance needed.