Spring Edition- How yoga improves sport performance, golf/running

photoHappy Spring! My hope is that by the time you are reading this the warmer weather will have arrived and we can start enjoying the many outdoor activities we dream of all winter long. Whether you bike, run, swim or golf, I’m going to tell you why no matter your sport, Yoga is going to make you better at it. That’s right, yoga will not only improve your performance but also improve your recovery time and prevent injury.

Recently I did a podcast interview with Fit For Radio on the subject of why yoga is for everyone, young or old, fit or completely inflexible and out of shape. I discuss the many benefits a regular practice can offer the body, mind and spirit. It is a great discussion on a wide range of topics, click here to have a listen.

As a runner and yogi, I find I am without the stiffness and soreness that can result from going longer distances. Yoga keeps the muscles supple and relaxed, which makes the body more dynamic so that motion is more fluid and graceful. If muscles are tight, then your movement will be rigid and tense. You may hold your body awkwardly or in poor posture which can lead to injury overtime.
Breath control is a major benefit of yoga and a huge bolster to any runner looking to improve performance. Deep yogic breathing teaches how to take more efficient breaths to better fuel the muscles working to propel a run.
Not to mentionYoga teaches meditation techniques which help improve focus, a helpful tool for any athlete.
I recently found an article that touches on this point in Runner’s World Magazine.

Now I’ve dabbled in golf over the years, and while I’ve never been able to commit the time to getting great at it, I’ve experienced marked improvements along the way. Since including yoga as part of my healthy lifestyle, my core strength and balance is stronger which gives me more power and stability to hit the ball farther, while my greater flexibility and agility improves the quality and rhythm of my swing.
Mental focus is such a huge part of anyone’s golf game so if I’ve not yet convinced you to try yoga, read this article and see how it’s helped Jack Nicklaus sink some very important putts.

As a trainer, I find too often people subscribe to only one specific training method, sport, or diet. The beauty of yoga is that it teaches balance. Certainly, find what works for you, but don’t close yourself off of learning new things and shaking it up every so often with a new approach. My challenge to anyone reading this who has not done yoga before is to give it a try. Maybe you have tried it and felt it wasn’t for you- well try again! There are so many different instructors, styles and poses that can be tailored to improve your specific needs or sport. Trust me, it has helped many of my clients, some of whom aren’t even aware they are doing yoga because I sort of sneak the poses into their routine.

Hopefully I’ve swayed you to give it a try and if you’ve already incorporated yoga into your lifestyle, nice work, maybe share this post with someone you think would benefit from the new experience. If they’re a golfer, simply tell them it will improve their game and likely you’ll find you have a partner for your next class.

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