3 Reasons Every Athlete Should Practice Yoga

Did you know that in 2013, the Seattle Seahawks incorporated yoga as a mandated part of their training program? Considering all its benefits, it’s no wonder that yoga is gaining momentum in the professional sports world. How can yoga improve your athletic performance?

Did you know that in 2013, the Seattle Seahawks incorporated yoga as a mandated part of their training program? Considering all its benefits, it’s no wonder that yoga is gaining momentum in the professional sports world. How can yoga improve your athletic performance?

Prevents Injury

Nothing can be more frustrating than being sidelined by an injury. Luckily, most injuries are easily preventable with proper stretching techniques. Yoga is known for combining dynamic and static poses which will work your body through all potential ranges of motion, simultaneously lengthening and strengthening muscles, and opening up tight hip and shoulder joints. Yoga can help you avoid injury and keep playing all season long.

Builds a strong core and improves balance

Whether you play tennis, cycle outdoors, or run distances, yoga helps develop dynamic strength through isometric and weight-bearing exercises like planks, while challenging your balance and range of motion in lunges and standing balancing poses. Over time, you’ll notice a difference in your ability to balance agility with stability, and get quick on your feet.

Yoga enhances mental focus and clarity

In yoga class, you’ll utilize deep, diaphragmatic breathing and concepts of mindfulness and non-judgement to keep your mind focused and avoid distractions such as negative self-talk or preoccupation with things outside your control. Practice yoga consistently and you will learn to think more clearly and focus on what you can control to perform in “the zone.”

This article originally appeared in PRO Pulse Magazine©, a publication of PRO Sports Club. Reprinted with permission.

Heidi Keith

Heidi is a Seattle-based yoga instructor with a passion for introducing the benefits of yoga to all. She understands how to make yoga applicable and accessible to a wide audience and is honored to witness the transformation of her students as they embark on their unique journey to health and happiness. For Heidi, yoga is a way of life, a philosophy and science that can change perspective and ultimately heal the body, mind and spirit. She currently teaches at PRO Sports Club in Bellevue, Washington. Visit her website at www.heidikeithyoga.com.