Yoga And Sports

Photo Credit: lululemon athletica CC-BY-2.0

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years. Yoga involves physical exercise and has numerous health benefits, with a focus on the mind/body connection. The yoga participant practices controlled breathing, meditation and body postures to increase awareness of the mind/body connection to improve physical health. An increasing number of athletes are practicing yoga, particularly the stretches, as part of their athletic training. Athletes benefit from the increased flexibility, strength and endurance of their bodies. Yoga can help improve agility and increase concentration. Yoga stretches can be an excellent way to improve your flexibility and physical fitness.
Yoga isn’t all about twisting your body like a pretzel. There are different styles of yoga. Some styles focus on power and vigorous movements to improve muscle strength, like ashtanga. Other styles, such as hatha, focus on precise poses and controlled movements, which improve strength and endurance.  
Yoga neck exercises help to relieve tension in the neck, shoulders and upper back. Tension in the neck can result in poor posture, stiff joints and even headaches. Yoga neck exercises can help to alleviate tight muscles and increase flexibility of the neck muscles. It also helps to strengthen muscles in the neck and shoulders. 

Practitioners of yoga can improve lung capacity by engaging in deep breathing. Yoga breathing exercises focus on deep, long breaths. Deep breathing stimulates the body’s relaxation response. Improving lung capacity and relaxing the body improves sports performance and increases your body’s endurance. Practiced, controlled breathing also improves concentration, which translates to improved athletic performance. 
Pregnant women and people with bone conditions, such as osteoarthritis, should not begin practicing yoga before seeing their doctor. Yoga should not cause pain. If you feel pain, stop immediately. If you experience lingering pain, see your doctor immediately. Should you become dizzy or feel faint, stop immediately and seek medical attention if these feelings persist. 

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