We have dedicated time to this subject, because we feel that anything that improves mind, spirit and body, can only improve one’s life and running performances.
Yoga – What is yoga and what are the benefits
People from all walks of life benefit from the wonderful gains derived through the use of yoga. It assists a great deal in ones attempt to achieve a state of physical, mental and emotional well-being. Yoga is believed to calm the mind and allow for intense focus, in order to unify and balance the body and mind. Modern yoga practice is versatile and may focus on the physical, psychological or spiritual, or a combination of all three.
Most modern yoga practices are based on Hatha Yoga, which includes physical postures or poses (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama) and various forms of meditation.
There are many popular styles of yoga and each has a particular emphasis, such as co-ordination of breath and movement, mental focus and meditation, holding the postures for extended periods of time, powerful movement sequencing, perfect alignment of the body, or the flowing from one pose to another. All beneficial in the development of an athlete.
All Yoga styles share the same origins and background and no style should be considered better than another.
Most traditional styles of Yoga have three basic principles in common:
Breathing which is controlled and focused. A series of postures or poses are performed. The relaxation of the body and the clearer focusing of the mind through meditation.
The practice of yoga differs from traditional exercise, such as aerobic
conditioning, weightlifting, body conditioning or stretching, however it is known to compliment all forms of exercise. Yoga actually improves muscular strength, it assists your flexibility and it improves your cardiovascular fitness.
In the application of Yoga the person becomes more in touch with their body and is able to avert injury through improved suppleness and alertness to their body as well as the restoration of the mind-body connection to a state of well-being and vibrancy.
The athlete would do well to include the use of yoga into their routine as the benefits are enormous for a relaxed and focused competitor and person in their normal daily tasks.
Further Articles of interest :
- Introduction to the practice of asanas
- The Secret of Asanas
- Practicing Hatha Yoga
- Meditation – Good news for the immune system