Athletes need core balance and strength in order to perform well in their respective sports. While weight training and cardio can help them increase their stamina and muscular density, different yoga asanas can help them gain core balance and stability, thereby further improving their performance. More benefits of yoga are elaborated below:
All competitive sports require that players are able to perform steadily and over a long period of time. While this depends upon one's strength it also depends upon one's breathing pattern as well. A fast rate of breathing can easily deplete the energy levels of a player and wear down his/her performance.
Anxiety and stress of a demand to perform can also be countered through controlling one's breathing pattern. Thus, a control over this rate of breathing would ensure that the player plays for a longer period of time. Pranayama is an example of pose that helps one control one's breathing.
Balancing of the body is something which athletes tend to overlook in course of machine training. Focus is maintained only on specific muscles while others tend to get overlooked. Yoga poses step in at this moment and help them improve their sense of balance. This results in a more stable body frame and a lower rate of muscle and bodily injury.
Improves Range of Motion and Flexibility
Different yoga poses allow athletes open up the different joints in their body. Almost all the muscles in the body are engaged and flexed by yoga poses. This allows them to open up and respond to movement. The athlete's body movement is then able to move in an unrestricted manner.
Increases Core Strength
Yoga poses help athletes build their core strength. The slow but steady movement of the body involves a vigorous workout of the mid-section. Apart from that many yoga poses involve isometric contractions which can provide you with more effective resistance training than training with machines.
Effective way to Cross Train
For those athletes who repeat a type of training schedule year around, yoga poses can act as a way to cross train themselves. The poses can break the monotony of the schedule/sport and keep the concentration levels of the athletes high. It would also reduce chances of them getting injured. Yoga poses can also help them recover from the fatigue of weight training.
It is for all sports
Yoga does not concentrate on serving the needs of only one type of athletes. There are innumerable poses in yoga which can serve the purpose of almost everybody. Athletes can pick and chose from many yoga poses to create their personalised yoga training routine. Else they can simply follow the yoga routines which tradition has bestowed upon us.
Here is a yoga sequence for sportspersons:
Padahastasan (Foot Hand Pose)
Trikonasan (Triangular Pose)
Chakrasana (Arch Pose)
Sarvangasan (Shoulder stand)
Matsyasan (Fish Pose)
Halasna (Plough Pose)
Kandipidasan (Root Squeezing Pose)
Bhujangasna (Cobra Pose)
Dhanurasan (Bow PoseSalabhasna)
Salabhasna (Locust Pose)
Naukasan (Boat Pose)
Mayurasan (Peacock Pose)
Vajrasan (Vajra nerve Or Adamantine Pose)
Yogmudra (Yogi symbol)
Paschim Uttaanasan (Head knee forward bendUstrasan)
Ustrasan (Camel Pose)
Ardh-Matsyendrasan (Half spinal twist)
Kukuttasan (Cock Pose)
Garbhasan (Foetus Pose)
Vatayanasan (Ventilator Pose)
Shavasana (Dead body or corpse pose)