Have you ever tried to convince a non-believer of the benefits of yoga for athletes? If so, it is likely you have been met with one of the following responses: “Yoga is not a sport.” “Yoga is just stretching.” Or one of my personal favorite points to argue, “I can’t do yoga because I am not flexible.”
Oh, if they only knew.
To be fair, we are certainly not advocating that you make it your life mission to combat every anti-yoga athlete until they agree to get down with down dog. However, if you do feel passionate about sharing the many amazing advantages of yoga with an athlete in your life, we have compiled a few talking points to help you fight the good fight.
Whether you are shifting your weight to stay centered on your surf board or pivoting on one foot to spin past your opponent on the basketball court, there is no denying that balance plays an important role in athletic performance. Yoga can help to improve balance by strengthening the muscles that stabilize your joints.
Pose to Try: Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Connecting to your core is a key action in many yoga asanas (poses). A strong core reinforces balance and supports healthy movement patterns. Staying integrated at our centers when performing physical activites may especially help in protecting our backs, which is a common area of injury for many.
Pose to Try: Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose)
What good are strong muscles if they cannot move well? Strength is important, but us yogis feel flexibility is equally necessary. According to experts, flexible muscles allow you to move with a wider range of motion. This can be incredibly beneficial when swinging a baseball bat or leaping over a hurdle. Practicing yoga may help to increase flexibility over time. Yoga poses meet you where you are at and gradually encourage deeper flexibility through breath and awareness. No bouncing stretches or forceful pushing of your muscles in yoga, just a slow and patient opening.
Pose to Try: Anjaneyasana (Lunge Pose)
Just in case you need one more point to really drive it home - rumor has it, even the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady is a believer in the benefits of yoga. Okay athletes - if Tom Brady is doing it, you know it’s good. Now that you have the points you need to convince that stubborn someone in your life of the benefits of yoga for athletes, show them just how fun it can be at the Be Well Fest this January in Portland, Maine.