Ask the Yoga and Pilates Expert – Krista Olsson Campbell

 

Yoga For Athletes

While yoga is often a completely different type of exercise than most competitive sports, it can be extremely complimentary. Athletes, both professional and the weekend warrior variety, can gain the benefits of strength, flexibility, and concentration that yoga provides. The bodily discomfort and possible chronic pain that some athletes feel may not be from the activity itself, but rather from the repetitive force and motions that their bodies are subjected too on a regular basis. This can lead to muscular imbalances that lead to muscle and joint injury and discomfort as the body works to compensate. Athletes may experience excessive tightening and shortening of their muscles and not enough restorative, elongating, and stretching work to counter their sports specific repetitive movements. There are many problem areas that can arise throughout the body as a result of a lack of balance between relative joint flexibility and stability. Issues will vary depending on the particulars of the sport. Yoga can help athletes (and the general population) to counter tightness and restriction, create ease of movement, and help to prevent injury.

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