Written By: Coach Brandie
Athletes of all levels can utilize the practice of yoga to help strengthen their mind and body, prevent or recover more quickly from injury and increase their breath capacity. The following is a brief discussion of three poses (or asanas) that can help increase core strength, improve flexibility and steady the mind – a perfect balance for the strenuous work many athletes encounter in their daily training.
Pose 1 – Anjaneyasana (low lunge)
This pose is amazing for the opening the hip flexors (front of the hip), for engaging the core to stabilize the pose and for focusing the breath and mind (drishti – your focal point is in an upward direction).
Pose 2 – Ardha Chandrasana (half moon)
Another full-body pose that works on strength, balance, breath and mental focus. This pose literally has every part of your body engaged and is so powerful. One of my favorite poses, half moon makes for an amazing addition to any yoga practice.
Pose 3 – Viparita Karani (legs up the wall)
This gentle inversion should definitely be a part of every athletes tool bag (heck every person – athlete or not – should practice this pose). This pose uses gravity to help reverse the stress of being on our feet all day. Legs up the wall is calming to the nervous system and helps to relax a tense body and mind.
No matter what sport or athletic pursuit you practice, adding yoga into the mix is beneficial on so many levels. If you want to experience the strength, balance and calmness of yoga, feel free to stop by the studio on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm for the Yoga for Athletes class taught by yours truly – I’d love to see you there.