Frequently athletes who are into competitive sports don’t give enough emphasis to a regular yoga routine to supplement their workouts. This leads to workouts that are not holistic. Such workouts result in bodies that are tense, stressed and inflexible. I’ve found that gym-goers have flexibility as the lowest priority in their fitness goals. But it should be the most important. Why?
Flexibility ensures that you’re limbs and muscles are well conditioned and this leads to a greater resistance to injury. Ask me. I see big strong muscular army officers who can run 5 km in under 30 minutes but who have weak knees, shoulder issues, ankles that haven’t fully recovered from injury. If they would only listen to me and just incorporate a few yoga stretches into their daily workouts they would reap the results of bodies which are more resistant to injury and also which, once injured will heal faster. Also, yoga ensures that even if you have been injured, your rate of recovery is faster because your muscles and tissues have more oxygen and therefore more regenerative abilities.
Also, the more elasticity your body retains the easier and quicker you can achieve your physical goals. Whether it’s hitting a ball far far away or kicking it through everything that stands in its way, a person who has a mind-body connection will be able to harness the elasticity, strength, and stamina of their body to achieve the goal. Usually, those who don’t practice yoga are unable to make the most of the resources their bodies have and so end up not achieving the goals that the yoga practitioners do.
At a purely physical level, yoga helps in increasing your range of motion. And athletes particularly need greater range of motion to increase their speed and agility. This directly impacts how they move. They will move faster, but, at a more subtle level it will improve how they move when they move fast. Athletes who are also yogis retain a greater degree of motor control when they move fast. Yoga makes your muscles lean and long and makes your body supple.
Competitive sports are stressful. Yoga routines help to relieve tension easily so you relax sooner and better.
And most importantly – yoga will help you WIN at your sport. Yogis feel easy in their bodies and mind. This translates to tackling life’s problem with ease. Therefoer yogis find it easier to focus all their efforts on the goal. This focus comes effortlessly. So while the other guy or team is working hard on focusing and concentrating, you will be calm and tuned in to your meditative and observant side. This will give you that edge that non-yogi athletes don’t have…and before you know it, you will be winning at your sport and in your life.
Supplementing your workout with a few yoga classes a week can go a long way in helping you achieve your fitness goals more holistically. Come practice yoga with me from Mon-Thurs from 10-11am @Namma Crossfit and see for yourself.