Inhale, exhale, stretch, twist, stand on your head … if you think yoga is just about attaining peace, calm and the occasional acrobatic ‘stunts’, look a little deeper. Grant, it is all of that too but there’s a whole lot more to the ancient practice that can actually boost your performance in athletic pursuits. We look at four of the most popular sports and how yoga helps you get more out of them.
RunningYoga helps build the core, quads, hamstrings and hip-flexor muscles, all of which go towards improving flexibility and building strength in the muscle groups that help stabilise the skeletal system – the same ones that the body employs when running. When your core and hips are strong, they help protect you from injury that can come from pounding the ground repeatedly and regularly.
Additionally, breathing right is one of the core components of yoga and when applied to running, enables you to coordinate your breath with your movements. This leads to better speed and helps prevent side stitches. The best yoga post to invest time in is Warrior III, which strengthens the ankles, legs, shoulders and back muscles.
GolfYoga is often thought of as a gentle exercise and while it is generally a low-impact workout, it goes a long way towards building muscular strength. That’s because many yoga poses require using one’s weight against gravity and in doing so, you gain a lot of strength in the muscles. On top of that, yoga improves flexibility, range of motion, and balance.
Put all that together and it spells great news for golfers – you will be able to achieve more powerful and accurate swings, better control and weight transfer, and reduce the risk of back pain and other injuries. Want to ace the greens? Start by practising these yoga poses.