Yoga has been practiced on Earth for a few thousand years but it is not just an ancient practice that helps people get in tune with their spiritual side. In recent years yoga has seen a surge in popularity and its many health benefits are often talked about. A little less well known is that the two worlds of yoga and sport are starting to mix with some great results coming out if it.
No longer is yoga restricted to professional intellectual types or actresses, rock stars and now sports stars. It is accessible by all, but these days even more so due to the number of new yoga studios that are appearing in all parts of the world.
The world now has a new form of occupation that goes by the name of Yoga Sports Scientist, (YSS), whose services can be called upon to train athletes of all kinds to incorporate certain yoga practices into their normal sport training regimes.
The benefits and advantages that sports people are reporting range from some fairly obvious ones to some less obvious ones.
For instance, if a YSS was working with a soccer player, it might be obvious to say that the exercises taught by the YSS are going to increase the agility of the soccer player, and that could well be one of their goals.
It might be slightly less obvious to realise that the exercises taught in yoga and incorporated in to the soccer players training, are going to make the player better able to focus their mind on their game and concentrate, which in turn may well result in the player pulling off some fantastic play during the weekly match. All from the benefits of doing some targeted yoga exercises along with their standard sports or team training regime.
An even less obvious of yoga’s wonderful benefits to the human body might be considered in the case of a boxer. The particular style of training for the average boxer is designed to bulk them up and make them balance somewhere between super strong and lightning fast.
This could have a tendency to shorten average muscle length in the boxer’s body and in turn that could result in the boxer’s overall reach being shorter than it could be, and short, tight muscles may be good for power in boxing but are not good for the state of your long term health.
Some of yoga’s postures are designed to stretch the muscles and increase their length and this would surely be incorporated by the YSS into the boxers training. The boxer would also benefit from increase agility and movement, increased awareness and ability to focus.
Tennis players can feel more agile and report being able to stretch further and reach more difficult longer balls. Runners strengthen their legs, feet and back while also increasing their ability to focus, especially in the longer distance running.
Professional sports men and women are lengthening their careers at the top level, and thus, increasing their lifetime earning potential at the same time, as in the case of Ryan Giggs, English premiership footballer who is still playing for Manchester United in the first team at the age of 38. Most professionals in that league finish in their early thirties, on average.
Archers can benefit from improved concentration levels and ice skaters can benefit from improved balance, thus proving that yoga and sports of all kinds really are a great mix.
Is yoga a sport? No, but as long as the Yoga Sports Scientists exists we can expect to see some great advances and achievements in our sports in the coming years. How much of it will be a direct result of yoga?.