These days Yoga is becoming more accepted as a beneficial practice in increasing athletic performance. What is most exciting about this change is that professional sports teams as well as college level athletic departments are beginning to enforce the necessity of using yoga to keep their athletes performing well and injury free.
No matter which sport you are practising, yoga will always be useful to you. Hockey is one professional sport which, over the past few years, has been making a lot of headway in the yoga community. Golf and tennis are similar in that they both require the favored use of one side of the body—particularly the upper body. Football, volleyball or running – yoga will be particularly useful for you.
So here you will find some useful yoga poses. You will be amazed at how this once considered “simple” practice will increase your skills at sports.
Build Focus – Warrior One Pose
While yoga is definitely known for being a non-violent practice, the Warrior pose is an incredibly beneficial posture meant to reflect the “spiritual warrior”, who resides within us all. When it comes to sport, being both strong and focused are two key components to having a successful game. Not only does this pose build strength in your legs but it also gives you a sense of focus needed to attack each “battle” as it is thrown your way.
Stay Balanced – Tree Pose
In essence skating is all about having good balance. Whether you are carrying the puck into the offensive zone, or trying to make your way back down the ice for a defensive play, balance is important in all aspects of skating. So get ready for your next check on the ice, by practicing the Yoga Tree pose to improve your balance. Not only will this pose improve your ability to center your body when faced with an off balance moment, but it will also help to re-stabilize your body when forced off center on the ice.
Improve Your Speed – Chair Pose
When it comes to hockey players, one thing is for certain: Quad strength is a must in getting you up and down the ice as quickly as possible. In yoga, not many other poses compare to the Chair pose for building quad strength. Overall, your stride is all about the power you can generate from your legs, which mostly resides in your quads. With that being said, the stronger your quadriceps are, the faster you can skate, and the faster you will get to the puck. Try making this pose a little more difficult by lifting your toes up off the ground while sitting back further onto your heels. These modifications will increase the success you have in strengthening your legs in this posture.
Reduces pressure – Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Come into Downward-Facing Dog as a way to lengthen the spine and stretch the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands. It will also help slow down the mind and body, relax all you muscles and have a rest.
Strengthen Your Core – Plank Pose
Lastly, having a strong core is influential in pulling the benefits of the prior three poses together. Whether you are aware of it or not, your core is always working to keep you centered, balanced, and in control which is why it is so important to work core exercises into your daily workout routine. Specifically, the Plank pose is an excellent posture to practice, which will increase the strength in both your core and your arms. In order to make this posture more difficult try lifting one leg up of the ground at a time. By doing this you will increase the need to maintain balance while contracting your core at the same time.
Even if you are not practising any sport professionally you can still benefit from yoga in your everyday life. How? See the advantages of doing yoga for men.