YOGA FOR SPORT

It’s no secret that yoga is widely practiced by Sports star around the World. Andy Murray swears by it along with Djovick often appearing on court in almost the splits pose. Premier league footballers, basketball players and triathletes all understand the benefits of finding a balance between the adrenaline and sweat with the rest and recovery time.

 

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic makes a forehand return to Britain’s Andy Murray during the men’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/John Donegan)

 

I’m an avid gym goer, past crossfitter, triathlete and love my home HIIT sessions but without my yoga I would defiantly not have my stamina and ability to take on such challenges. Not only do we live in this fast paced stressful world but all too often I see those in intense jobs also gearing towards those highly stressful workouts. Of course I believe when you enjoy these things do keep it up as it makes you happy but in order to remain happy and healthy, injury free then it needs to be complimented with time on the mat to be calm and quiet. To find a time when you have no distraction, you allow your body and mind to take some rest. I don’t mean sleep, but active rest like stretching, mindful breathing and meditation. This is what will allow the body to recover, the chance to calm the nervous system.

The key benefits of Yoga and Meditation for Sport:

Injury Prevention

 Why wait until it’s too late and then need to heal an injury. Prevention is key and yoga will work on releasing those tight hamstrings, soothe your aching back and shoulders. The nervous system isn’t just in charge of damage control. Weakness in the muscle or the joints is seen as a risk , so in order for you to prevent injuring yourself, the system will limit range of motion to stop you overextending beyond your capability. But all too often we don’t understand or choose to ignore our bodies signals. Not only will yoga help you to build on your flexibility but your strength too , these two a key and one without the other can be a cause for injury.

Better posture

Many of us spend a lot of time in front of a screen, driving for long periods and our bodies were never designed to be still for long periods. Maintaining the health of spine is important after all it affects the positing and therefore potentially function the organs. Correct postural alignment is not only key to your bodies health but good posture will also allow you to perform that squat correctly, be mindful of how you do that dead lift and also help you to do an awesome push up.

Improved circulation

So whether you sit at a desk or run errands throughout your day often you have your head above your feet and not suppling enough blood circulation down to the feet. In yoga inversions (getting upside down) and taking some weight off the feet allows for better blood flow and help to release trigger points that may cause muscle spasms.

Aids better sleep

Taking time to relax and shut off, away from work, intense training, from technology will all aid better sleep. In yoga we focus on breath work that directly calms the nervous system, tapping into parasympathetic system that promotes healing and change, whereas we spend a lot of our time in the flight or fear mode of the sympathetic system. Meaning we are producing way too much adrenalin and therefore our adrenals are on over load. Stress mentally and physically is seriously damaging so learning to calm your breath, change the pattern of short, sharp and shallow to longer, deeper and calmer, not only will this encourage better sleep but applying this to your workout and weightlifting will help you to be aerobically fitter, but also sends you into a moving sort of meditation.

 

More Focus and clarity

During a yoga class you will often be encouraged “don’t push yourself too hard, honor where your body is today, stay at your limit, let go of any competitions with yourself or others, and so on…

In a competitve sports however, such lessons of acceptance and equanimity are not the default.  However, when you are given the tools to remove the ego and be more mindful the focus is more on technique and repetition.

 

Holly teaches One to One Yoga sessions from her Award winning Yoga Studio in Brighton, Studio iO.

Holly is offering all F45 members 10% off all One to One sessions, normally priced at £45 an hour. Also members can attend her weekly group class Thursdays 10am for 10% off. Please email her at info@studio-io.co.uk with the heading F45 Yoga offer.