What Can Yoga Do For Me?
Monday, September 13, 2010

Yoga's biggest fanatics may be middle-aged women, but the combination of exercise and mediation that Yoga brings can benefit plenty of individuals, including serious athletes. Think you're too strong to get anything out of Yoga, or feel like you need a more intense workout than simple mat exercises can provide? You may want to think again, because there are several benefits of yoga for athletes of all levels. Three of the most notable effects of Yoga involve:

Core Fitness

Many of the poses and exercises in traditional Yoga are core-strengthening, which can give athletes of any sport an added advantage. Holding the positions in Yoga lead to increased strength in your abs, glutes, lower back, and other parts of the core. Yoga can also strengthen muscles ignored by your typical weight-lifting and workout regimens.

Breathing and Concentration

Breathing is obviously an enormous part of any sport or athletic endeavor, and Yoga can help athletes form and maintain the habit of deep, relaxed breathing. In turn, this kind of breathing can also improve concentration and "center" an athlete, reducing anxiety during a game or match.

Flexibility

For some sports, hard, intense training can leave out one important aspect: stretching and flexibility. Yoga can improve flexibility and range of motion in personal problem areas and generally tight muscles. Added flexibility allows athletes to reach their full potential in their sport. In these three areas- and more- Yoga demonstrates that it has superb cross-training benefits, allowing you to complement and enhance your usual fitness routine.