Yoga is not just for people who want to stay fit and lose excess weight. It can also present as a great complement to athletic training and other exercise programs for anyone who want to enhance their performance as well as reduce the rest of injuries. Preparing yourself mentally what to do in case of injuries is half the battle of preventing and reducing damages to your body, but preparing your body physically can actually stop possible injuries from happening.
Adding Yoga to Training / Exercise Program
A lot of athletes and exercise enthusiasts often claim they simply don’t have the time to include yoga in their intense training program. A lot would think, “How can stretching exercises and breathing techniques help me excel in my sport?” Many others only discovered the benefits of yoga while they are recuperating from injury.
Whatever type of sport or exercise program you are engaged in, yoga can be a powerful addition to your existing training plan. Practicing a well-rounded yoga will include dynamic flexibility training, balance and strengthening work and core stabilization. By giving strong emphasis on these essential elements, yoga can help your body in many ways such as recover after rigorous workouts, enhance flexibility of certain body areas that may hinder performance, improve your range of motion as well as develop better developmental focus and concentration.
There are a number of sports such as running and cycling that involve repetitive movements following a single direction as well as one plane of motion. Such sports only develop certain muscle groups and leave other areas of the body undeveloped, which can cause muscular imbalance over time and repetitive motions of joints can lead to overuse injuries. For example, overly tight hip flexors and hamstrings can force the body to recruit other joints that are not particularly designed to bear additional weight.
Among the most common injuries suffered by athletes involve the illiotibial bad (ITB), hamstrings, knee, shoulder, and hip flexors. Often such injuries are closely associated with the lack of flexibility, misalignment and poor core strength.
How Yoga Can Help In Injuries Prevention?
Through yoga, muscle tightness can be addressed and alleviated, helping build stronger core as well as align the spine. In order for athletes to prevent injuries, all areas of the body should be properly exercised.
While proper stretching during post- and pre- workout or training can help prevent injuries, most often than not, stretching only involves a single direction and one plane of motion. Through yoga, you can go beyond simple stretching by working out the joints and muscles following different ranges of motion, thereby activating even those commonly less used muscles that play a supporting role for the primary movers. This is an important aspect since the body most be worked out on three different planes of motion in order to keep it healthy and balanced. Yoga practice does not only involve the sagittal plan, but it also includes transverse and frontal planes, thereby ensuring a total and well-rounded development.
There are a number of wonderful yoga poses that can help prevent injuries. The Revolved Crescent pose includes twisting motions following the transverse plan. This can be effective in opening up overly tight lower back and obliques. There are also effective balancing postures such as the Tree and Eagle that can prove to be highly effective in helping correct many muscular imbalance as well as poor body mechanics.
Engaging in physical activities is fun and will help your body become fit and healthy. Keeping it safe prior, during and after will make it more enjoyable and encourage you to maintain that healthy habits.
Written by Mahindra Raj of Serenity Yoga Retreats in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Mahindra Raj Specializes in helping people from all over the World create the transformations, results and life that they truly desire. He uses Yoga, Life Coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Spiritual Response Therapy and other forms of “Energy Healing” work to improve the quality of people’s lives. He now lives in Mexico City where he does coaching people and teaches yoga.
[image courtesy of Yoga for Athletes]