Is Yoga For Me?
Yoga is open to everyone, young or old, flexible or stiff, athletic or desk bound, male or female. You don't have to be skinny, or flexible, or strong, you just have to be you! Although there are spiritual elements to yoga, it is not a religion and does not require you to subscribe to any particular set of beliefs. You don’t have to eat lentils, hug any trees or like lotus flowers! All you need is to be present on your mat, and the rest will follow.
If this will be your first taste of yoga, I would recommend starting with a Hatha class.
"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent, caring for myself is an act of survival"
Yoga for Athletes
Yoga can be especially beneficial to many athletes, complementing and balancing any existing training.
Yoga can improve strength, balance, flexibility, breathing and focus. Flexibility in particular is crucial to the body’s overall structural soundness – enhanced joint & muscle pliancy translates to greater range of movement. For example, a swimmer with supple shoulder and hip joints is able to capture and pull more water than a swimmer with a more limited range of motion. The result is more forward movement per stroke as well as enhanced muscular economy.
Training in focus & mental control can also be used to improve performance in any sport. At the highest levels of sport all athletes are exceptional and train equally hard, it is the mind that differentiates the champions from their competitors. Being completely focused on the task at hand and staying entirely present will give one competitor a powerful advantage over another.
Like muscles, the mind can be trained too. Consistent practice of asanas (postures) followed by Savasana (relaxation) can help to do this and will change your entire approach to training and competing.