Yoga + intense sports: a winning combination
French Yoga Girl reveals how yoga can benefit athletes.
After working 5 years as a business attorney, Sandrine (also known as French Yoga Girl) left her job to become a yoga instructor. For the past 2 years she has been a very influential person in the yoga world and has been teaching Strala Yoga classes, a dynamic form of yoga that was created by Tara Stiles.
Intense sports and yoga may not attract the same types of people, but they harmoniously complete each other. Athletes have everything to gain if they start doing yoga!
Yoga releases muscle tension
Intense training sessions can cause fatigue and muscle contractions. As a result, performance suffers, and the contractions produce a decrease in flexibility and loss of mobility. Thus yoga, practiced in addition to a sport, is beneficial in several respects: it relieves back pain and softens the muscles to help relax any tension present in the body.
Yoga can improve athletic performance
Yoga positions work on flexibility, coordination, endurance, and balance. This combination improves physical performance in sports and helps movements become more fluid. Yoga can also help an athlete focus better, as well as increase their energy level, allowing them to gain speed and become more powerful.
Athletes who do yoga on a regular basis will learn how to synchronize their breath through different poses. This will keep them one step ahead of non-yoga practitioners who tend to become breathless very quickly. This is particularly interesting for running enthusiasts who, by increasing their respiratory capacity, will have more endurance to run long races.
Yoga helps athletes learn their limits
Athletes are always looking to improve their performance, which can put a lot of strain on their bodies and even cause them to get hurt. Many people push themselves beyond their limits, but yoga will force them to slow down and begin to observe the signs their body is sending.
In yoga everyone works on themselves, for themselves. The goal of the practice is not to compete with, or compare oneself to others, but rather make them aware of their breathing, of the way their body feels in different postures, and to be able to better control their mind.
Sharpening one’s awareness of bodily sensations, learning how to push oneself without getting hurt, being aware of every action they do… those are just some of the numerous benefits that yoga can bring to an athlete!