Yoga for Athletes: How to Improve Your Performance On Field
A yoga programme designed for your particular sport can help you push your body, breath and mind to the edge and can train you to perform under stressful situations, like a competition.
Consistent yoga practice has shown improvements in strength, mobility, balance, improving reflexes and recovery of muscles from fatigue.
Let's go through a small series of yoga movements that I make the ace athletes do at least once. Some are easy, some are tricky. Let's find out.
This variation of the chair's position is actually a lot of fun.
- Stand with your feet slightly apart and start sinking into the chair's position.
- Get your arms out in front parallel to each other.
- Rest on mat and lift your heels up off the mat, one by one.
- Continue holding that position for a little bit. After holding it for 5-6 breaths, slowly bring yourself up, put your heels down on the mat and relax.
As you notice, this is a position that requires a lot of strength and focus at the same time. Notice the way your thighs are getting engaged.
The second position is garudasana. This requires, like any other pose a lot of strength, focus and flexibility.
- Stand still and start bending your knees a little bit. At this point, shift your body weight to the right foot.
- Now, extend your left leg out.
- Sink down and at the same time extend your left arm out in front.
- Bring your right arm over the left and wrap the arms around each other, with your palms will be in touch with each other.
- Now, bend your left leg and wrap it around the right leg.
Continue sinking down with your hips. And continue raising your arms up. That's the position you're supposed to feel very gripped and comfortable at the same time.
Repeat the same thing on the other side.
Third one is natarajasana and this is done to check the balance of the athlete.
- Ground your left foot on the mat and start bending your right leg.
- Bring the right hand on the outside of the foot and grab your ankle very comfortably.
- Now, extend your left arm out. Make your index finger touch with the tip of the thumb and point outwards.
- Now, send your heel away from the hip maintaining the arch in the lower back.
Continue breathing in and out. Hold the position as stable as you can. In order to make it easy, you can look towards a point right in front of your eyes or slightly above it.
After holding it for 5-8 breaths, you can slowly bring your body out of this. Then repeat the same thing on the other side.
So positions like these bring a lot of stimulus for your body and your brain. And they can amp up your physiological and cognitive abilities, which translates into better performance. A well-chalked yoga programme can definitely bring the best out of your athlete self.
Producer: Sameeksha Khare
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Cameraperson: Nitin Chopra and Sumit Badola
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