Fitness Yoga – Helping you improve sporting performance
Yoga is complimentary to virtually any sporting practice and will only help you to improve fitness performance and reduce risk of injury – both very appealing benefits to any sports or fitness addict. Some of the world’s best athletes even swear their yoga practice alongside their other training has helped them in the bid to become champions of their sport.
A common miss conception about yoga, made by many who have yet to try, is that it looks ‘slow and easy’ and therefore it is assumed yoga practice doesn’t ‘do much’. However, for those who have tried a yoga class or two, you will probably remember your first surprise at how much you may have ached the next day in places you didn’t even know existed.
The thing is, yoga may seem slow, but this passive form of exercise I perhaps one of the best kinds of movement your body can get! Not only does it help release sore muscles and improve flexibility, it also strengthens your core and improves balance too – all these factors also help reduce risk of injury whilst you are our playing/doing your other activities. Not to mention the stress relieving benefits of regular practice!
Benefits of Fitness Yoga
Improves athletic performance
Yoga improves strength, flexibility and balance, which in turn improves body awareness and ease of movement – this will only aid your other training or sporting activities. You might find because your core muscles are stronger you are able to lift heavier or go for longer during endurance activities. Yoga also helps improve recovery time between sessions too.
Reduces risk of injury
By improving strength, flexibility and balance your body is far less likely to get injured. Tightness and mobility issues are often the cause of most injuries in sport, regular yoga practice can really help combat this. You might also find it interesting to learn also that because yoga practice uses breath with movement, extra oxygen is pushed around your body which helps to improve blood flow. Your blood carries all the nutrients needed to repair and maintain the cells in your body including that found in muscles, tendons, joints etc. This means not only are the vital body parts used in your sport getting extra nutrients they need; they are also likely to recover quicker after heavy use when yoga is practiced alongside training.
Yoga is a great way to prevent and rehabilitate injuries.
Increases mental focus
Yoga is sometimes considered an active form of relaxation or meditation, and without sounding too ‘hippie’ this can massively improve mental performance too as well as physical. How? Yoga practice aligns your body with the mind so that you are in sync. It also helps to clear any ‘chatter’ or distractions enabling clarity and better focus for whatever task you need to set your mind to.
Athletes who are known to practice fitness yoga
Still don’t believe us – why not hear it from the mouths of a few professional athletes themselves…
1. Jessica Ennis-Hill, Heptathlete
“Yoga has been really good for me training-wise…It helps keep some level of fitness up through my pregnancy and also on the run-up to major championships.”
2. Andy Murray, Tennis Player
“I’m pretty flexible for a tennis player. (Yoga) has helped a lot with my fitness and mental strength.”
3. Welsh Rugby Union Team
“We hand-picked six guys who we thought were a little bit susceptible to injury and not as flexible. We put those six in and then said to the others it’s not compulsory, but we ended up having to knock the guys back, because we can only fit 10 in the room.”
Adam Beard, RWU Head Conditioning Coach
4. Paula Radclife, Long-Distance Runner
“Stretching is really important before a race, but even more so afterwards. Go for a swim or to a Yoga class to make sure you’re stretching in a relaxed and mindful way.”
5. Jamie Anderson, Snowboarder
“My favourite poses are variations on the handstand and the scorpion,” she said. “You have to use your whole body, it’s physically and mentally challenging. You have to find your balance in this uncomfortable position, so when you do it, you feel like you’re really overcoming an obstacle.”
6. Jenson Button, F1 Driver
“There you go! #coupleyoga with @jenson_ichiban.” ~ Jessica Michibata, Instagram
Flotality offer various yoga classes designed specifically to aid athletes and fitness fanatics to compliment their other sporting activities.
- Our Balance classes will help develop strength and flexibility in order to improve fitness performance and reduce risk of injury.
- Our Focus classes will help clear your mind and allow you to concentrate better on reaching your goals and beating the competition.
- Our Restore classes will soothe your aching muscles, help improve recovery rates and relieve stress.
Find out more about the classes we offer here.