Why is Yoga an essential part of every athletes training?
Corrects functional Imbalances
One of the many benefits of a Yoga Practice is that it allows a practitioner to become aware of their body. This is especially valuable for an athlete. Awareness of correct alignment can help identify functional issues or weaknesses and Yoga can be used to correct them.
For example, you might notice that you always turn your foot out when running. This will likely cause imbalances (pain or injury) in the leg, hips and/or lower back. In Yoga, we practice postures which reinforce correct alignment. Over time, the body strengthens to support the correct alignment and functional imbalances can be corrected.
Restores the body after training
Certain styles of Yoga help the body recover. Restorative postures can be held for 3 to 15 mins and incorporate a focus on the breath. Being still for this amount of time allows you to become aware of, and then relieve, deeper layers of tension in the body. Holding longer postures can restore and repair connective tissue. To keep you comfortable while holding a posture, props such as blankets, towels and bolsters are provided.
Restorative yoga turns on the healing relaxation response and activates the parasympathetic nervous system which decreases the heart rate and restores the body to a state of calm.
Yoga can help in stretching and moving the body, bringing blood circulation and oxygen to the affected tissues to aid in faster recovery. We often work in conjunction with Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and massage therapists to get the best result for the individual.
When I broke my hand a few years back, I remember asking the physio what exercises I should do to strengthen my hand after the cast was taken off. She said “You do Yoga. You’ll be fine”. I think this says it all. For my situation, she believed a strong Yoga practice was all I needed to make a full recovery and she was right.
Modified and Personalised Practice.
Our studio runs therapeutic classes which are modified and personalised for the participants in each class. We work either one on one or in small specialised groups to help people recover from injury or surgery.
In a one on one yoga session, we modify postures to aid recovery for your particular situation. When we are working with recovery, it can be tempting to “push through’ the pain but in reality this can often set you back.
We keep movements within a range that is pain free. So if, for example, you have injured your shoulder we would limit movements which might inflame the recovering tissue. We will work with you to design a specific routine to target and strengthen weak muscle groups. We can also incorporate mindfulness practices to help deal with the emotional and mental stress an injury can cause.