Check out this guest post by Tracy Moore, who has done research on how athletes are using yoga to up their game and performance. Wonderful to see how yoga can help us all toward functional fitness!
When it comes to health and fitness nobody knows their body more than athletes. Many of them have been training since childhood and have perfected their method of not only staying fit but also injury free. Athletes from all different kinds of sports use yoga as a vital part of their exercise regime and in this article we look at four examples of sports stars who count on yoga to help them improve their performances.
The tennis star and Grand Slam Champion is known for being one of game’s most athletic competitors. She has won every Grand Slam at least once and has been world number 1. Mind Body Green reported that Sharapova did a video for Nike in 2010 detailing her yoga regime. According to the health site Sharapova said, “When I do yoga it also allows me to sort of think about what I have to do, how my body is going to go into the next position, and breathing into stretches. It’s almost mentally stabilizing in one place.” Yoga is a great way to refocus the mind especially if you are constantly in highly competitive situations.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love has invested heavily in yoga to improve his game. In an interview with Stack.com he said, “my business is my body, I thought that yoga would be a great way to make my body feel better, so I’ve integrated it into my workouts.” Yoga instructor Kent Katich, who also instructs LeBron James and Blake Griffin, believes that yoga helps control negative emotions which can in turn lead to mistakes. Everyone in life gets stressed out and annoyed, but it is how we react to those pressures that show how in control we are. Players such as Love and LeBron are successful because they can always keep a cool head even when the game isn’t going their way.
Australian professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons is no stranger to exercise. Her sport requires strength, balance, endurance, and stamina, all of which she has mastered in order to be considered one of best in the world. In an interview with Cooler Lifestyle she named yoga as one of “ best exercises for surfing” due to the need to get “strong enough to withstand all that power the ocean throws at you when you’re out there.” Many people believe that yoga isn’t a valid exercise, when in fact it can be hugely demanding on the body and help increase strength and endurance.
If you ever need proof that yoga can help you stay at the top of your game for longer then look no further than soccer star Ryan Giggs. The Telegraph reported that at the age of 40 Giggs was still playing regular first team soccer for one of the biggest clubs in the world: Manchester Untied. Most soccer players retire if they are lucky in their early 30’s. Speaking to the paper Giggs said “[yoga] strengthens your muscles, improves flexibility, but also keeps you fit and gets you out on the training pitch so you can train every day.” Such was his dedication to the game and his own health that Premier League experts Betfair in their detailed profile on the Wales legend called him “one of the greatest players in the club’s illustrious history.”
Hopefully this has shown you how yoga is used by some of the biggest sports stars on the planet to enhance their game. If it can help them be the best at their sport it can also help you in achieving your goals.
Thanks Tracy 🙂