An athlete’s yoga practice should change according to their season, just like their training regimen does. During the pre-season, athletes are in preparation mode. Their practice times start to increase and training starts to intensify. The important thing for them to stay focused on is building a solid foundation of strength and stability during this period.
Strength and Stability
With yoga, their focus should be on maintaining a dynamic flexibility practice and building strength around the joints for injury prevention and stabilization. Standing postures, warrior sequences, and sun salutations may be included to keep the body moving, build heat, and increase strength.
Yes, yoga is mostly about flexibility, but it also is very effective at helping build strength safely.
Now that the season is about to get started, athletes need to incorporate a consistent, dynamic yoga practice into their training schedule. If they start now, it will become a routine practice throughout the entire season.
Dynamic stretching is the use of a muscle’s own force production and the body’s momentum to take a joint through the full available range of motion. Prisoner squats are an example of controlled dynamic stretching. The goal of any flexibility routine is to create multiplanar soft-tissue extensibility that is controlled by the Central Nervous System (CNS).
A dynamic yoga practice, also called vinyasa, is a type of flexibility training that includes dynamic stretching.
Vinyasa, or dynamic yoga, should not be “power flow” for elite, competitive athletes. It should be a mindful flow that teaches athletes how to maintain control of their breath, build determination, and intensify their yoga practice.
Vinyasa is smooth linking of unhurried breath with movement, intensified by mindfully holding postures for several breaths, awakening the body and clearing the mind. Athletes can explore the details of each posture at a comfortable pace to allow their bodies to deepen into a stretch or pause in a strength-building pose.
It only takes incorporating 20-30 minutes of dynamic yoga each week to start seeing the benefits. Athletes will feel better, move better, and recover faster, so they can go back to practice the next day stronger and more refreshed!
On-Demand Yoga for Athletes
Yoga Athlex on-demand platform, YAX Online, features 200+ videos of recovery methods such as yoga, breathwork, mediation, SMR, and more – all designed to improve performance, decrease injury, and increase playing time.
In this recorded webinar, you will learn:
- What the benefits of yoga for athletes are
- Why you need to incorporate yoga modalities into your training
- How to increase performance and prevent injury potential
- When to incorporate recovery to best fit your athlete’s schedule
Discounts for Teams!
Want to provide on-demand yoga (as well as breathwork, meditation, and SMR) to your athletes? Fill out this form for a quote.
About the Author
Patricia Bomar is the co-owner of Yoga Athletex LLC with her sister, Kalynn Evans. She was an athlete from the age of 4, playing multiple sports competitively at the club level for 14 years. Her college years included club and intramural sports. She earned her B.S. in Sport Management from Texas A&M in 2007. While studying she worked under the TAMU Track & Field coach, as a personal trainer following the NSCA – CSCS program. At the time she was also a volleyball and softball coach and was an avid member of CrossFit. In 2013 she earned her 200 hour yoga certification and in 2015 earned her 300 hour yoga certification. Currently she has earned the ERYT500 standard. Shortly after, she became certified in Functional Movement Systems (FMSC). In 2017, she acquired her NASM – CPT certificate and continues to attend several intensives and workshops to stay up to date with current exercise science. Her latest certification was the fitness nutrition specialist (FNS) acquired through NASM. She is currently an official education provider for the National Academy of Sport Medicine, Athletics and Fitness Association of America and the Yoga Alliance. With over 17 years experience, Patricia has a strong passion for bringing the healing benefits of yoga to her fellow athletes for injury prevention and increased performance.