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Yoga Benefits and Sports

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Yoga Benefits and Sports

Yoga postures are the physical positions that coordinate breath with movement and with holding the position to stretch and strengthen different parts of the body. Asana practice is the ideal complement to other forms of exercise, especially running, cycling and strength training, as the postures systematically work all the major muscle groups, including the back, neck, and shoulders, deep abdominal, hip and buttocks muscles and even ankles, feet, wrists and hands. By their very nature, asanas affect major and minor muscle groups and organs as they simultaneously import strength, increase flexibility and bring nourishment to internal organs. Although most poses are not aerobic in nature, they do in fact send oxygen to the cells in the body by way of conscious deep breathing and sustained stretching and contraction of different muscle groups. Whatever sport you choose to practice, yoga can enhance and complement your ability. Most sports build muscular strength and stamina, often in specific areas of the body. Yoga can help to check any imbalance in muscular development and will enable both your body and your mind to function more efficiently. If your body is flexible and supple you will be less prone to sports injuries, as your joints will be kept lubricated. Skiing demands mental alertness as well as good balance. Yoga asanas strengthen your muscles, release physical tension and improve your concentration and poise. Yoga makes your limbs balanced, strong and relaxed. Golfers may be prone to onesided or uneven muscle development. Yoga asanas can strengthen weak areas and ease muscular tension. The standing poses improve balance and muscle flexibility. Yoga breathing techniques help swimmers to breathe in a relaxed way when exercising. For bicyclists, back bends can relieve any stiffness caused by bending over handlebars. Because a cyclists back stays in one position for long periods, the muscles may become tense. This can be remedied with stretches. Gentle stretching exercises also ease stiffness in the legs and shoulders. Yoga asanas will also improve flexibility. Racket sports often involve intense physical effort. Yoga practice can help players to relax and replenish their energy after strenuous games. It also promotes calm, clear thinking, even in situations that call for fast reactions. Asanas for joint mobility can make hips and shoulders more flexible.


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