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Yoga & Sport

Power Yoga will challenge you in ways you have never been challenged before

Written by D'Ana Baptiste

Yoga and sport often are seen in opposition: Yoga is about practice, while sport is about training. Yoga is about the process, while sport is about the finish line. Yoga is by nature quiet, slow, and meditative, while sport often is perceived as loud, fast-paced, and competitive. However, the mounting number of athletes practicing yoga tells a different story.

Yoga has reached a new degree of popularity with athletes of all levels. Pro baseball, basketball, and football teams, as well as tri-athletes, bodybuilders, and dancers have embraced this ancient practice to bring about physical repair and peak performance.

Power Yoga is the perfect cross-training method for those of you looking for a type of yoga to complement and enhance your sport. You may already be fit, strong, and active. You may already be well on your way to sculpting a strong, healthy body, and yet at times in your training you may feel fatigue, injury, tightness, a plateau in strength, stress, or perhaps just plain boredom. You may be willing to try yoga but need a type of yoga that will heighten your performance without jeopardizing what you have already accomplished.

Power Yoga is the solution; we give athletes the tools necessary to dramatically boost energy, decrease stress, heal chronic pain and past injuries, prevent future injuries, and pump up strength and endurance levels.

This unique blend of Yoga is all about integration and structural integrity, a form of exercise that requires a balanced measure of strength and flexibility from the entire body as a unit. It incorporates powerful breathing techniques, combined with a flowing sequence of poses, to unleash and unlock your potential body. By realigning body posture, balancing musculature, increasing lung capacity, and enhancing oxygenation of muscle, yoga encourages a free flow of energy throughout the body, and brings it back to a state of youthful harmony, giving athletes the edge they need to succeed.

Yoga tones and chisels muscles through isometric and isotonic action. By incorporating yoga into your training regimen, you will maintain your strength—and even increase it—while getting looser, more agile, and more structurally aligned. Yoga works your muscles in a way that keeps them long and lean, strong and supple, oxygenated and clean. You will stand taller and look sleeker, straighter, and leaner. Yoga strengthens the intrinsic and core muscles, as well as the proprioceptive nervous system that other forms of fitness can miss. Yoga also affects athletic performance by working the slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are ignored in many forms of training, but which are vital to structural integrity. To increase your overall strength, Power Yoga is the missing link.

Yoga also reduces stress and tension-based injury because it teaches conscious breathing, which directly relates to decreased stress. Profound, balanced, relaxed breathing releases the deep stressors within the muscular and nervous systems, preventing tension and injury and increasing poise, equanimity, grace, and focus. This calms and grounds the mind as well as the body. The more you cultivate a clear and centered mind in yoga, the more likely you are to remain focused and calm prior to a competition or event-again, all essential elements in overall athletic excellence.

These breathing techniques, in tandem with challenging strength poses, raise the core body temperature to maintain heat that will heal, tone, strengthen, and stretch a body full of tight, sore, toxic muscles. This inner heat is perfect for eliminating stiffness. As your muscles expand and contract during a yoga session, oxygen-rich blood flow increases to areas of the body blocked by toxins and scar tissue accumulated during training or through injury. The toxins are flushed out by the rush of blood that enters the blocked muscles, and the tissue begins its regeneration process with the help of the flood of new oxygen.

For injury prevention and performance enhancement, Yoga is the answer, as it provides essential cross-training benefits for any sport. Yoga brings your opposing muscle groups closer to a state of balanced strength, agility, and flexibility. Sore, tight, tired muscles can be soothed, stretched, and healed through a conscious yoga practice. The yogic state of mind also decreases your chance of overuse, overtraining, and injury, because doing yoga teaches the practitioner that attitude, patience, and pacing are what improve coordination, concentration, and endurance. The mental skills acquired through the flow of the poses can be applied to a rigorous training session or a demanding competition.

Power Yoga will challenge you in ways you have never been challenged before; it can expose your greatest weaknesses and enhance your greatest strengths, breathing new life into your body, your mind, and your training regimen.

Article Reviewed: July 25, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

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