We work hard to find the right balance in our training routine. There are many things to consider when choosing the types of workouts and activities that will maximize our performance. A steady Yoga practice can serve as a very helpful cross-training exercise. Use the following tips to help you determine if Yoga is a good addition to your training routine and what type of Yoga practice you should consider.
What are the Benefits of Yoga During Intense Training?
When athletes undergo intense training the body is being maxed out to its full potential and muscle fibers are being torn to create stronger resistance and stamina. Yoga is the perfect compliment to relax the nervous system and create a calm and deep detoxification that really connects the brain cortex to the entire nervous system. As a result, the body allows the mind to increase concentration, focus, and will power. Also, yoga balances the muscles. The muscles should not be too tight or too loose. Yoga trains the muscles to be strong and stretched.
Should someone who is participating in an intense training program or fitness routine include yoga in their schedule?
Absolutely. The physiological benefits of a complimentary yoga regimen are necessary for agility, stamina, speeds the recovery process of the physiology. Through yoga you get in such a deep connection with your body; and eventually find a way to readjust yourself. With time, in a way you become your own chiropractor. When you think of Runner’s High, this feeling of euphoria and overwhelming sense of body, mind, and spirit becoming one; that is Yoga.
Depending on the training regimen, you should do yoga from an hour to an hour and a half 3 to 4 times a week minimum. I really recommend any type of yoga to begin with; however, I highly recommend IYENGAR for athletes because there is an emphasis on proper alignment within the stretch that also prevents bad posture and injuries. Don’t forget that a great posture is a first sign of great health.
Not All Yoga is Created Equal
Yoga is complementary to just about any training program. Athletes must be strategic in the way they include yoga in their training schedules: intensity, type of practice, and frequency.
If you are training very intensely for any, restorative yoga is highly recommended to help your body calm and relax and get ready for the following days’ training sessions.
“Power yoga” could be beneficial to endurance athletes who would not get his or her strength training in any other form. However, some forms of power yoga may not be appropriate for the intense athlete, as many of the poses may be too advanced for an infrequent practicer to participate in. It is ok if those athletes will be able to modify the poses and mentally be ok with that or if they incorporate a regular yoga practice into their training schedules.
The same advice applies to a high impact athlete, such as a football player or track & field sprinter. A yoga practice should not hinder performance, but enhance it. For these athletes, yoga that promotes precise movement, rather than long and static holds, will be sport-specific.
There is a yoga practice for intense athletes, and when done right–mode, intensity, and frequency–can enhance their performance.
How has a yoga practice improved your performance?