By Dana Jean Costantino
While at first read, the words football, cycling and Yoga may not seem as though they are linked or can commonly benefit one another, they sure can and do. While many may not know this, high school, college and pro football players practice Yoga as a way to be more limber and focused on the field and many more of them are joining in on this as the benefits are showing themselves in many ways amongst their teammates.
Football and Yoga
Fusing a Yoga practice into the other elements that come along with rigorous football training is not only a benefit on the physical level but on the mental one as well. Professional sports and those who are in the elite class of athletes who play them, come with so much more stress and trauma than we may ever realize, not only on the field but off. More and more we are not only seeing Yoga being used as a source of calm for these athletes but also as a way for them to tone, align and strengthen their bodies in ways that they may never have before. And the benefits are being translated onto the field and into their personal lives.
Cycling and Yoga
Cycling is another major sport that has largely embraced the practice of Yoga. Professional cyclists see the advantage for sculpting, toning and balance (which is so important around sharp turns and harsh course conditions). They also embrace Yoga as a way to overcome the varying injuries that their sport has them encountering. Intense and prolonged courses tax the mental standing of these athletes as they are on courses for days, weeks and potentially months at a time. The ability to center oneself through Yoga has shown a powerful and helpful practice during breaks from the course.
Yoga Can Lead to Better Performance
Recent studies have shown that in football, cycling and various other professional sports that the integration of a Yoga practice into the athletes life not only led to better performance in their field but a happier home life.
If you are an athlete who is struggling with an injury or searching for better performance on your course or field, I urge you to give Yoga a try. If you are dealing with mental and emotional aspects of your sport, I urge you to do the same.
While it is always encouraged to consult a physician before starting any new practices, I believe you will find that your doctor will agree that Yoga, and also the use of a regular meditation practice, will help you shine in a way you haven’t before. Ask those who are already doing it and then compare their current and past performance. I bet you will see a difference.