athlete-woman

Welcome to Jivamukti Yoga!

What is yoga? How does it work, and how can it benefit athletes? Apart from being excellent for your health and athletic performance, yoga is a long journey that can enjoy over the course of a lifetime. In this article, we will give a brief overview of yoga, hopefully capturing the interest of those athletes considering to take a step into the world of yoga.

Devoted athletes are always on the prowl for enhanced ways to care for their bodies and avoid injuries. Yoga training can complement athletic training, especially for sports that require a lot of running.

Many athletes suffer from back and knee pains, which force them to give up their sport. A yoga program designed for athletes will allow athletes to keep going hard and long, for many years.

Regular yoga practice keeps athletes healthy through breathing techniques and flexibility training

Correct breathing techniques loosen up the body and amplify lung capacity. While athletes are exhaling at higher rates, their bodies can concentrate on increasing oxygen flow. By this, the blood flows in their muscles and joints, and they protected from an injury.

Let’s take yoga for running, for example. A runner’s yoga practice focuses on correct alignment, symmetry, and balance. Daily running may stress the muscles unevenly. This may create imbalances in the body. Running can often create uneven muscle strength and cause acute joint pains. Flexibility training for athletes using yoga will work evenly on the muscles and form a steady support for the joint.

If athletes are off-balance, their body will start working harder but less efficiently. The muscles may get weak and tighter. Muscles should be ideally soft and supple. Tight muscles are brittle and hard, and more susceptible to tears.

A yoga program for athletes will pace up the healing processes

flexibilitySometimes, a tight hip flexor can cause tension in the back muscles. Some yogic hip-opening positions can quickly reduce this back pain. Yoga exercises contract and releases muscles and joints.

If an athlete is serious about running and achieving, then a yoga program is a highly necessary tool for them. By practicing yoga daily, the runner’s flexibility and power will increase. By doing yoga, they can finally bid adieu to pains and aches. Yoga will prevent any future complications and heal the current injuries, and doing yoga for muscle recovery will also help you recover from fitness training.

I’m interested in being able not just to teach yoga to others but to help people to live better lives outside the yoga studio. I love how yoga can enrich people’s lives more than any other form of therapy.

In any case, good luck and have fun!

Continue reading our site for more information on how yoga can help you as an athlete.

How Yoga Can Mentally Prepare Athletes

Yoga is very beneficial to our bodies and in our day to day lives. There are five principles of yoga and each has an impact on an athlete. The principles are:

  • proper relaxation
  • proper exercise
  • proper breathing
  • proper diet and
  • positive thinking and meditation

Here you’ll learn each principle of yoga and why it goes hand in hand with athletics.

Proper relaxation

We all know the benefits of relaxing in this hectic world we live in. learning to relax properly is important. Relaxation is not just a way to get away from it all, but it also aids in recovery and rejuvenation of the athlete. As an athlete or endurance athlete knows there is a time prior to race that you go through tapering.

Tapering is the process of working less so that the body is rested and ready to go on race day. Being able to relax during that tapering period is important because you need your muscles to rest and the rest will lead to a rejuvenated body come race day. If an athlete does not go through that tapering period they run the risk of having tight muscles and burnout of pushing the body to its limits.

Proper exercise

An athlete spends a lot of hours exercising. There is bike riding, swimming, running and skating. Don’t forget to include strength training as well and with all of this yoga should be included as well. Yoga will stretch and tone ligaments and muscles, it will enhance the flexibility of the spine and other joints and will also improve blood circulation. Yoga will also teach you to breathe properly while doing the poses and thus allowing for proper flow from one pose to another.

Proper exercise in yoga is known as posture. Posture helps to stave off injury, but to the athlete as well. In the water the body must be in proper form in order to go fast because there is no way to muscle through the water if technique is not perfected. During the run the proper foot-strike and making sure that you are not landing awkwardly on your feet is important. Getting the proper shoe is another way to ensure that you have proper posture and help avoid injury.

Of course, there are sport-specific postures and exercises that will help you to excel at your chosen sport. You can learn these at a sports training website such as Piranha Sports, or through local athletics programs. However, while doing yoga you are going to build muscle strength and muscle tone which will also help to avoid injury. Certain poses will help to strengthen the shoulder and back muscles that are used during the swim. Other poses will help develop flexibility in the legs which will translate to leg turnover and higher cadence on the bike and run.

Proper breathing

Yoga will teach you to use all the parts of your lungs. By being able to make use of all parts of your lungs you will be more capable of increasing your oxygen intake. By increasing your oxygen intake you are capable of recharging your body and control your mental state.

During yoga, the lessons on breathing learned will include the ability to have steady slower breathes. With the proper breathing techniques an athlete will learn to become more efficient because you will learn to breathe out. The thought process can be that you need to breathe faster and harder to get oxygen in, but if you take a deeper breath you will not only get more oxygen into your lungs but also you will get old oxygen out and replace it with new fresh oxygen.

Add in the fact that by taking a deeper longer breath you will also relax your mind and body which is one of the principles of yoga.

Positive thinking + meditation

In athletics the mental portion is needed to not only compete in a race but to also endure the hours on end of training. When training in a pool and seeing that black line repeatedly for an hour one needs to have the mental fortitude to get through it.

Going out for a 6-hour bike ride or a 20-mile run is not just physical, but being able to know mentally that you can do it is just as important. Using yoga into our training will teach us to be mentally focused and sharp so that our training remains enjoyable. Keeping training as a positive aspect of our lives will allow us to continually keep pushing ourselves to go farther and faster.

Yoga is a great compliment to the swimming, biking and running of an athlete because it provides balance to all of the muscles, and ensures proper flexibility. In this way, it can help reduce chance of injury and it can also improve performance.