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Yoga for Athletes
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Forum Posts: 28
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December 25, 2011 - 1:45 pm
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Yoga Poses for Snowboarders for the End of the Day

Practicing Yoga postures, both before and after a day of snowboarding, can help to prevent injury and improve your levels of flexibility, strength and balance. A regular practice of Yoga asanas can also improve your snowboarding skills as you improve your overall level of fitness. Practicing the pranayama exercises of Yoga will help you to remember to breathe when the terrain is particularly challenging. This practice will help you to perform at you optimal level even when you are reaching a point of muscular exhaustion or the limits of your snowboarding ability.

After a fun and challenging day of snowboarding, it is helpful to stretch out the muscles and ligaments that you have been working so hard. Practicing Yoga asanas at the end of the day will help you to maintain your flexibility and will also help to increase circulation, which will flush out residual lactic acid in the muscle tissue. This will help you to recover quickly from a challenging day on the slopes and will also help to prevent injury in the future. There are many different Yoga poses that will help to stretch out the various parts of your body. Two very effective Yoga asanas for snowboarders at the end of the day are Bow Pose and Extended Child's Pose. These two poses elongate different areas of the body including the front torso, quadriceps, side torso, arms, groin and chest areas.

Bow Pose

Bow Pose stretches out the front side of the torso including the chest, shoulders, arms and quadriceps, which are are often quite tight after a day of snowboarding. Remember to move gently, your body has worked hard out on the slopes. You may want to practice a series of less intense backbending poses to warm up prior to practicing Bow Pose. Sphinx Pose and Cobra Pose will help your body to open up and prepare for Bow Pose.

After you have warmed up with Sphinx and/or Cobra Pose, rest for a moment on your Yoga mat in a prone position on one check. After a moment, turn your head to the other side and gently stretch out the other side of your neck. Take one complete Yogic breath and with your next exhale bend your legs and grasp your ankles with your hands. With your next inhale, gently press your ankles into your hands as your extend your heart and feet up towards the sky. Go as far as your comfortably can and hold the pose for three to five breaths. With you next exhale, come down and rest in a prone position for a few minutes. Repeat two more times and follow with Extended Child's Pose.

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September 24, 2014 - 2:45 pm
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How yoga can improve running performance?

Practice of yoga at this time is very much popular all over the world due to its natural and reliable system, providing enormous benefits related to human physical and mental health. Regular practice of yoga exercises improves flexibility, balance, coordination of body, mind and soul with endurance by reducing levels of mental and physical stress. The techniques of this bodily movement have ability to improve misalignment in body, strengthen body muscles and joints.

Like many other activities, yoga is helpful for enhancing running performance. Efficiency in running fast can be experienced by practicing different postures, breathing procedures, balancing and relaxing exercises. This methodology of mental and physical activity is a wonderful option for a runner to improve its performance and increase fitness level by specifically targeting the areas of body which give strong foundation and power to body. By building strong and flexible abdominal muscles (hamstring, quadriceps, glutes, hip flexors, torso, Achilles and shoulder muscles) therefore chances of having injury is minimized. Yoga techniques are highly supportive for curing main issues faced by a runner like sore feet, tight hamstring and pain in hips, knees or ankle by increasing will power, suppleness and breath control.

The yoga poses or asanas offer lots of advantages for boosting up competence in running by correcting muscular imbalance due to strenuous training because a balance body can manage greater level of stress without hurting body. Whereas breathing techniques pranayama tunes nervous system of a runner by providing deep relaxation after running. Pranayama also helps in reducing blood pressure and heart beat moreover these exercises produce calmness and sense of stability. Regular practice of pranayama techniques increase breathing capability results in supplying more oxygen to blood. This richly oxygenated blood boosts up rate of performance and stamina of runner also supports convenient breathing during running. Deep relaxation process at the end of a yoga session is very much important as 10-15 minutes of deep relaxation provide relief from muscular tension, helpful in gaining energy and self-confidence.

The practice also offers concentrating ability on a specific task by making mind calm, quiet and focused essentially required by a runner to avoid injury. Likewise relaxing, breathing and balancing exercises stretching poses are best to perform after running as it reduces muscle stiffness, stimulates blood circulation and tones body. For a runner deep breathing with stretching is suggested to be essential during yoga as combination of them help to maintain strength and flexibility.

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May 24, 2015 - 8:21 pm
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Yoga techniques for walkers: Walking is an excellent every day workout activity, helpful for increasing fitness, relieving stress recharging and supply energy to body. Incorporating this habit in daily routine open path of awareness to maintain overall health, strengthen body parts by increasing flexibility and mobility.

Many health and fitness experts suggested 45 minutes brisk walking regularly to keep body healthy. The important thing that walkers should always remember is to prevent them from hamstrings, lower back injury and tightening of hips during walk. Sometimes due to continuous brisk walking knee issues, foot problem and joints pain may occur. To avoid all these issues and for attaining flexibility, strength and wellness of body practice of yoga exercises are referred as highly beneficial and effective.

The basic yoga stretches or poses provide valuable physical and mental wellness, helpful in reducing discomfort, pain and injury while walking. The well designed balancing physical postures offer walker ability to stabilize and align whole body properly. It is also recommended by fitness experts that regular practice of stretch poses help to keep muscles loose and agile also reduces soreness and stiffness of muscles and prevent walkers from getting injured.
Some of the key yoga poses that specifically target muscles, joints and body parts used during walk is mentioned as follows:

Forward Bend Pose: This pose is really good for hamstrings and lower back muscles. Forward bend is performed by standing straight with parallel feet and hips wide apart, take deep breath, inhale and bring arms over head. After that lengthen body and exhale by placing hands down in front of legs.

Crescent Lunge Pose: Mainly walkers need to have tight hip flexors; the lunge is effectual for hip flexors. This pelvic slant offers deep stretch into psoas muscles. The stretch is performed by going into lunge position, placing knee at 90 degree angle with thighs parallel to each other and feet distant apart. Hold the position for at least 20 seconds.

Cat Pose: The pose is good for lower back as it is helpful for loosen lower back muscles after compression caused due to walking. This asana is performed by kneeling on all fours, placing hands under shoulders and knees on floor. Take a deep breath, inhale and lift tailbone towards ceiling by looking upside, exhale by rounding back and face down. Repeat the sequence for at least 5 times.

The Plank Pose: The posture is helpful for building strength in upper body. Start the pose in pushup style with body in straight line. Plank pose is beneficial when each movement is hold for 60 seconds in beginning, gradually increase the time limit.

Chair Pose: It helps to maintain body balance and to correct instability by working on both quads also increases stamina and muscular strength. The pose is performed by standing straight, inhale and lift arms above head by keeping shoulders back. Exhale while bending knees and sitting on tailbone like sitting down in a chair. Try to hold pose for 2-3 full breaths.

Downward Facing Dog Pose: This is a wonderful whole body stretch. It helps to relax several muscles at one time such as Achilles, shoulders, arms, back, calves and hamstrings. The pose also aids to build stamina and muscular strength. The asana is performed by taking deep breath inhale, place hands and knees on floor, fingers wide spread on surface and shoulders apart. When exhale lift knees off the floor and hips toward ceiling, press palms down, stretch shoulders and draw naval inwards also stretch through heels. Try to hold pose for 3-5 seconds.

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March 11, 2016 - 2:23 pm
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How to apply asana to sports performance? The holistic tradition of yoga techniques train body, mind and soul in developing inner peace, releasing stress, connecting to one’s intuition, increasing mental power and making body balance, flexible and strong. This physical activity is nowadays become very popular due to its unlimited advantages as more and more people are exploring the myriad benefits that how yoga exercises are helpful for personal and physical revelation. It has turn out to be a mainstay on programs conducted by most of the fitness centers, health clubs, and personal training institutes. Incorporating specific sports related asanas one to three times a week appropriate for each individual or team according to their skill level are extremely valuable for increasing athletic performances.  

Classic bodily postures in yoga are mostly practiced as a cross training tool for improving and enhancing sports performance and reducing the risk of injuries. The asanas are incorporated in training session of sportsman for developing flexibility and body balance to prevent them from getting injured also for increasing mental focus and concentration to enhance their performance. These exercises are specifically geared towards the needs of athletes support in maximizing their performances due to repetitive stresses faced during competition. The poses mainly focus on reducing anxiety, stress management, body mobility, strength and stability.

Regular practice of deep stretching postures aids in increasing mobility in joints and range of motion as this will help athletes to avoid and minimize risk of injury whereas by performing holding or balancing asanas they will be able to enhance their game performance due to acquiring much awareness of body center place.

Generally all yoga asanas are practiced along with deep breath control, help in building up life force energies throughout the body. Deep breathing with stretch poses also improve circulation of lymphatic fluid in body, responsible for increasing rate of cleansing and detoxifying body up to 15%. Regular cleansing and detoxification of athlete’s body is highly beneficial in increasing their vitality, health, purification of blood and boosting up of their immune system. Application of yoga asanas in training session of sportsman will be physically beneficial in strengthening their deep connective tissues, increasing suppleness of muscles due to stretching, improving body posture and alignment also contributes in enhancing cardiac fitness and stamina.

Psychologically the physical poses free athletes from mental distractions by relieving them from stress and anxiety also provide methods of attaining relaxation. The asanas improves their mental focus, self discipline and determination while presenting game. It also helps an athlete to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new , it adds up to their ability to challenge themselves pushing them to perform to the best of their capabilities. Performing asanas often also helps athletes in reducing the built up stress and releases the tension from their muscles. Last but not the least if the athletes perform asanas they will learn the art of relaxation which will be very helpful for them especially while competing when the pressure is beyond measures.

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