Dedication to sport has provided me with an understanding of the physical and mental demands that athletic activities and competition place on the body and mind. Dedication to Yoga has given me an understanding of Yogaʼs physical and mental benefits. Combining these passions has put me in a unique position to be able to offer Yoga to athletes in a way that helps them meet the challenges of competition, prepare them for the physical and mental demands of the sport and gain a competitive edge.
Yoga can improve your athletic performance and give you a competitive edge.
Athletes in all sports and at all levels are discovering that Yoga can improve their game and make them better.
Yoga will help you take care of your body and prepare you to play.
Flexibility – Strength – Balance – Agility
Flexibility can be increased by doing yoga which can help prevent injury and improve performance. Balance, agility and a strong, stable foundation are important for athletic performance. So much in athletic training research is pointing to the benefits of using the bodyʼs own mass to build strength, balance, stability and agility. For over 5,000 years, Yoga has been doing just that.
I have heard countless stories from athletes about how an injury ended their professional careers. The story goes something like this: “I was signed by the (Cardinals, Orioles, Dodgers, etc.) then hurt my (shoulder, knee, elbow, etc.) and was let go.” At the professional level of any sport, the competition is fierce, and there are always a hundred other athletes waiting to take your place. So it is critical to stay healthy and injury free. Whether you are a young athlete, a professional or past your prime but still want to get out there and be active, Yoga can help you stay in the game.
Many sports are asymmetrical by nature — always swinging a bat, tennis racket, golf club, etc. from one side. This creates imbalances in the body. Even sports such as running or soccer, which are symmetrical between the left and right sides of the body, can create imbalances between the muscle groups in the front and back body. Any of these imbalances can lead to injury. Yoga is a system that builds strength and flexibility throughout the entire body and can correct imbalances created by the asymmetrical nature of sports.
Yoga provides tools the athlete can use to develop the mental discipline needed to focus on positive and constructive thoughts and let go of negative ones; and to focus on the aspects of the sport that are within their control.
Aid Recovery — A careful application of Yoga techniques can help the athlete recover from injury or rejuvenate the body when it experiences symptoms of fatigue or overuse.
Stress Reduction — Competition and the expectations associated with it can lead to stress. Stress is often stored in the body as muscle tension. Yoga has the tools to allow the body and mind to let go of stress and ease tension.
Yoga and Baseball
Hit the ball farther — Throw the Ball Harder — Prevent Injury
The physical demands of baseball require quick starts and stops with a number of resting periods in between. Movements are explosive and demand much of muscles and joints.
Extension – Yoga develops the ability to lengthen and extend the body, movements that are necessary when hitting — “short to the ball then extend through the ball”, pitching – “as you follow through, extend toward your target”, running, fielding, throwing.
Twisting – Many Yoga postures mimic the twisting of the body during the swing or throwing motion, and can help develop flexibility in the torso to help the body twist with greater ease.
Yoga lengthens and strengths muscle groups such as quadriceps, hamstrings, abdominals, obliques and others, making them strong and supple to meet the demands of the game.
Stay Confident — Stay Focused — Stay Positive
A line drive is caught for an out, while an emergency-swing flare drops for a single. In baseball, proper execution does not always lead to the desired result. This can be very frustrating for a player on many levels. In addition, the pace of the game allows a player much time to think.
A baseball player needs the mental discipline to deal with the unique nature of the successes and failures of the game. The player needs to:
- stay confident
- stay focused
- stay positive
Yoga provides tools that players can use to help guide the mind to focus on positive and constructive thoughts and to concentrate on the aspects of the game that are within their control, such as putting a good swing on the ball or making a good pitch.