Yoga For Athletes
How Yoga can help you reach your maximum potential.
WORKING FROM THE CENTRE
If you watch any athletic sporting great such as Usain Bolt, Zinedine Zidane or Jessica Ennis, although from different disciplines they seem to have certain aspects in common – great balance and economy of movement that emanates from a strong, calm and focused centre (Dynamic Core). Great sports people are probably unaware of having these assets from an early age but they were perfect foundations on which to build phenomenal skills. Dynamic Balance Yoga can retrain and adapt the body so that these elements that exist in some degree in all of us can be developed to create a more functional and resilient physique and state of mind from which to operate at full potential.
The mid torso is the area of the body around which everything circulates. This is the central point which creates stability. It has to be strong but flexible so that the peripheries of the body can align and balance around it. The postures and sequences in Dynamic Balance yoga develop this crucial area.
Athletes of all disciplines have very repetitive movements usually in one direction and in one plane of motion. This means that sportspeople develop certain muscle groups while ignoring others. Athletes train and perform in these set patterns day after day, which eventually lead to imbalances in the muscles and joints leading to overuse injuries. A classic example is footballers developing tight hamstrings and hip flexors which cause the body to recruit from other joints, joints not intended for bearing extra loads such as the knees and ankles.
The most common overuse injuries among athletes include those involving the illiotibial band (ITB), knee, hamstrings, hip flexors and shoulders. Often, these injuries are directly linked to lack of flexibility, poor core strength and misalignment. Dynamic Balance Yoga helps alleviate this tightness, builds a strong centre, and align the spine.
Even if athletes stretch before or after a game, they are usually just stretching the muscles in the same direction and plane of motion that replicate movement patterns in their particular sport. Dynamic Yoga goes beyond simple stretching by working the muscles and joints through all ranges of motion-activating the little-used muscles that support the primary movers.
The body must be worked through all planes of motion in order to remain balanced and healthy. Dynamic Balance Yoga works not just in the sagittal plane but, in the frontal and transverse planes as well, ensuring well-rounded development.
The Yoga postures used in Dynamic Balance yoga poses feature twisting motions in the transverse plane, essential to opening up tight oblique’s and lower backs. Sequences involving balancing postures are some of the most effective ways to correct muscle imbalances and poor body mechanics. When an athletes body is working more efficiently bio mechanically then they begin to realise how much of a distraction and energy drain an inflexible and misaligned body has been.
When muscles and connective tissue are lengthened it creates more room for blood to flow in. More blood brings more oxygen, which muscles need to grow and heal. Increased circulation also helps remove lactic acid which can have a corrosive effect on an athlete’s body.
BREATH IS THE KEY
Another essential element in Dynamic Balance yoga is breathing system that accompanies the sequences. The attention to breath during yoga can be considered one of the most important benefits to athletes. Learning to stay focused and centred through challenging sequences and postures by concentrating on inhalations and exhalations sets up the athlete to stay focused and energised in stressful situations whilst performing.
The mind-body connection developed through the controlled breathing used in Dynamic Balance yoga is essential to helping athletes develop an increased ability to stay alert and concentrated throughout a game or event. In addition, Dynamic Balance yoga helps athletes to relax not just tight muscles, but also anxious and overstressed minds. Being more relaxed will not only help the athlete recover quickly but also enable them to improve the quality of their sleep.
Dynamic Balance Yoga is available at Public Classes, One to Ones or Skpe.
Please see the schedule to book your trial session.