Yoga originated in India and is a technique used for thousands of years. In its various forms, yoga is designed to help you achieve an inner peace that can be applied to reduce muscle fatigue and mental stress while improving performance.
Yoga uses meditation with stretching and strength-building poses. Adding yoga to your fitness and training plan can:
- Increase flexibility of the spine and joints to improve balance
- Enhance stamina and physical endurance
- Strengthen muscles and increase core stability and flexibility
- Flush out toxins that build up in muscle tissue during endurance activities
- Increase spatial awareness
- Improve sleep
- Help speed recovery
Additionally, yoga can serve as a low-impact cross-training exercise for athletes who do the same sport or exercise routine year-round.
Because of breathing techniques used, yoga teaches the discipline of being present in the moment through physical postures. Yoga's focus on breathing helps increase oxygen intake and your ability to stay relaxed during competition.
If you want to incorporate yoga into your fitness program or sport training, work with a trained instructor and begin slowly. Enjoy the practice and take extra time to do poses properly to avoid injury. Only go as far as you can tolerate and don't try movements or poses that overstretch or are painful.
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