7 Reasons Yoga Can Make You A Better Athlete

In Yoga by Grace Van Berkum

Yoga is an ancient healing technique that is so much more than just stretching and touching your toes.  The right style of yoga will improve your training regime and improve your life!

Grace Van Berkum-athlete yoga

1)  Yoga helps to relax and release tension in the muscles.  Who doesn’t want tension release in the body?! Yoga helps your body relax and move with more ease and fluidity, and less pain. Releasing tension from your muscles also means faster recovery time.  Faster recovery time means more efficient workouts.

2)  Yoga helps to strengthen stabilizing muscles.  When your secondary muscles become stronger, your entire body becomes more balanced. This means better body awareness. This also means less injury. 

3)  Yoga helps to center the mind.  Training your mind is just like training your body.  It takes time and consistency. When you learn to focus your mind and stay in the present moment, you bring that focus to the gym so you can achieve more.  More focus=more efficiency=more results. You also bring that focus to other activities in your life.

4)  Yoga helps you sleep better. Quality sleep means better repair for your muscles and nervous system. ‘Nuff said.

5)  Yoga helps you breathe better. A good yoga class and teacher will emphasize proper breathing throughout class and during postures, as well as teach specific breathing exercises. Breathing is integral to quality training. (Breathing is integral to quality life.) Proper breathing strengthens the heart and lungs, trains the diaphragm, increases circulation and detoxification, and minimizes lactic acid build-up. Optimal oxygen intake and optimal carbon dioxide removal will also help to energize your body to maximize performance.

6)  Yoga helps to detoxify internal organs.  Stretching, twisting, and compressing the internal organs from yoga stretches, combined with proper breathing, facilitates faster toxin removal in the body. Steady toxin removal means a good working metabolism and a top-notch body. The better you feel, the better your workouts!

And finally…the one you have all been waiting for:

7)  Yoga will help you get more ripped! Yoga improves range of motion meaning you can lift heavier weights.  Lifting heavier weights means more muscle mass and higher metabolism as the body burns calories at a faster rate.  Increased strength and increased flexibility leads to increased power. More power equates to a stronger body. To boot, remember all the other points I just made. Efficient metabolism from less toxins, energized body to also increase strength, proper breathing to oxygenate the body, focused mind, better sleep, increased range of motion…these are ALL things that will help make the metabolism work more efficiently. When the metabolism is optimal, body weight is optimal. So the results are faster, safer, and more balanced when adding yoga to any strength training program.  Let yoga compliment your workouts and watch how it changes your life for the better.

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