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The Athletic Performance Benefits of Yoga
Of course, if you’ve looked at a few yoga videos or articles, you might be skeptical about the benefits; obviously, even the most intense yoga routine doesn’t compare with something like interval training or deadlifts. The point is not that yoga can replace conventional (or unconventional) training, but rather how it can enhance it. By improving not only flexibility but also posture, body mechanics, and awareness, yoga can make every form of training you do more effective and efficient.
A regular yoga practice can give you the following and more:
We all know power, strength, and speed are directly related to proper body mechanics: when our body is properly aligned, we can transmit force much more efficiently and perform better across the board. Whatever your sport, by returning your body to its optimal alignment, yoga can help you reduce power leakage improve running gait and efficiency, and help you perform more explosively overall.
By opening posture, yoga significantly increases respiratory capacity; in fact, many have overcome asthma and other respiratory conditions through regular practice. Obviously, this is invaluable to athletes. Yoga has also been proven to dramatically enhance circulation, digestion, and efficiency of motion, which all further improve energy and endurance.
Along with opening the body, yoga builds greater body awareness, including balance, stability, and proprioception. As a result, not only is performance enhanced but our training becomes far more efficient.
Better Injury Prevention
Of course, we all know that the one thing that stalls progress even more than inadequate training is an injury. By improving body mechanics and awareness, yoga dramatically reduces the risk of injury, both in training and competition, in turn increasing competitive longevity and allowing more consistent progress in our sport.
A little-appreciated but significant benefit for athletes is improved recovery. By enhancing circulation and lymphatic flow, yoga not only increases strength and endurance but also allows muscles to process metabolic byproducts more quickly, powerfully speeding healing time and re-growth.
Finally (and perhaps most important of all), regular practice dramatically enhances our clarity and focus. Why does this matter? The mind.
Practiced regularly, yoga can give you the awareness and mindfulness you need to take both your training and your performance to the next level.
Of course, the list goes on and on. In addition to the above, yoga’s been clinically proven to improve immune function, balance hormonal balance and improve stress management, all extremely beneficial to athletes.
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“OMG, I love Rose’s yoga classes. As a physically active person, it is great to slow things down and focus on the balance, strength and openings that Rose takes us through. I always feel 1000% better after than before the class. It’s a true reset!
Richelle and Rose have found the perfect balance of a high energy bike workout followed by restorative yoga practice geared (ha) to riders.
Rose’s yoga class is a great addition to our endurance, strength and speed work. Taking her class ensures I get a solid stretch complete with some torso twisting, which I rarely do on my own. Rose focuses on the body and the poses us athletes need to stay strong, long and healthy. I look forward to her class every week.