Athletes and yoga is one of professional sports best collaborations!
Many professional athletes and teams look to yoga to strengthen muscles, focus, and protect from injury.
Baron Baptiste, who spent five years on the coaching staff of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, sees one common theme in athletes’ bodies: one-dimensionality.
“There is a lot of overdevelopment in certain areas, and in other areas there is underdevelopment,” he says. He recommends that teachers help students adapt their practices to suit their individual needs.
Runners tend to have tight hamstrings; cyclists often have tight quadriceps. Those engaged in throwing sports or swimming may complain of tired or aching shoulders; golfers and tennis players may have more freedom of rotation in one direction than the other.
Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the New York Giants credits yoga for at least part of his success. Positions like the hero pose with toes tucked help create flexible ankles and lessen foot pain, allowing Cruz to avoid injury and flourish into one of the game’s best wide receivers.
Did you know the following athletes practice yoga:
- Vernon Davis, tight end for the San Francisco 49ers
- Kevin Love, forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves
- LeBron James, forward for the Miami Heat
- Mike Krzyzewski, men’s basketball coach
Through a routine yoga practice, many athletes can increase flexibility, increase lung capacity and in turn see the improvement in their sport.