Benefits of yoga for athletes

Yoga has numerous benefits at various level (Physical, emotional and mental) however, the benefits of yoga depends on how regularly you are practicing it and also how you are practicing (ex. are you practicing only hatha yoga or also combining it with other steps of ashtanga yoga system).

The benefits of yoga increases when you combine yogasana (physical exercise) with meditation, relaxation, and pranayama.

Research studies show that Yogic meditation produces the ‘relaxation response’. In physiological terms, the Relaxation Response shows a marked decrease in the breathing rate and in oxygen consumption, a lowering of the heart rate, a decrease in blood pressure in meditators whose levels had been higher than normal, and the production of Alpha waves during meditation of which are associated with mental relaxation.”

Benefits of yoga when practiced regularly:

Flexibility and strength
Yoga postures stretch and strengthen muscles and ligaments and put joints through their full range of movement.
Good posture and better look
You develop the postures which are beautiful to look at. Firm muscle tone, bright eyes, and clear complexion contribute to the radiant appearance of the person. This, combined with good posture and grace of movement, makes for a pleasing outward appearance.

Breathe smoothly and efficiently

Yogic breathing strengthens the diaphragm and encourages deeper freer breathing.

Sleep well
Scientific relaxation helps in a sound sleep and refreshing the body and mind.

Concentrate well
Yoga Posture, yogic breathing, relaxation, and meditation all help to calm and still the mind. When your mind is calm and still you develop higher concentration for your work.

Cope well with stress
The improvements to your health and the ability to relax deeply that come with yoga make you more resilient. Even in times of crisis, you can learn to cope well without getting much stressed.Massaging of all organs of the body – It massages all the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough manner.
Yoga also helps sports professionals and benefits for them includes:

• Gentle hatha yoga can be used to lubricate joints and relax muscle tensions.
• It can help in correcting muscle imbalances resulting from high impact training, strengthening the spine to prevent pain and injury.
• Yoga can help to balance your lower body strength. Healthy movement requires less expenditure of energy, so you will have greater reserves to take longer, faster strides.
• Standing yoga postures correctly align the knee.
• Dynamic yoga develops stamina and upper body strength without tightness in the shoulders also prepares the cardiovascular system and muscles for peak performance.
• Yoga and breath exercise such as Kapalabhati and Anuloma Viloma can benefit the brain in competition to improve confidence and concentration.

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Issued in the interest of people practicing Hatha Yoga by Subodh Gupta, Yoga Instructor based in Chelsea Kensington London.

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