People from all different corners of the sports world utilize yoga poses for their plethora of benefits. From relieving tension to enhancing flexibility, the ancient practice can help athletes improve performance on the field, in the pool, on the track or wherever they get active. It can be especially beneficial to high-endurance athletes in these ways:
Though a gentle practice, yoga has the capacity to help you boost muscle tone. It works every part of the body, and after a few sessions of yoga poses you may find that your hamstrings, quadriceps, biceps and other muscles are firmer and more pliable. Additionally, nearly all of the postures work to strengthen the core, not just by working the abdominal muscles but also massaging the intestines.
Flexibility is important for any sport, in terms of both performance and reducing risk of injury. The postures gently stretch the muscles, ligaments and tendons and loosen the joints for heightened form and balance, which in turn lead to greater flexibility. These stretches also serve to improve your posture by exposing your body to a variety of motions – many athletes experience soreness and stiffness from conducting the same motions repetitively.
High-endurance sports, such as swimming and running, require you to maintain steady breathing throughout long periods of activity. Yoga poses can help you achieve this by teaching your body to inhale and exhale naturally and comfortably while deepening and lengthening the breaths. This can both increase stamina and steady the heart rate.