Can you use yoga poses to transform your athleticism? Yes, yoga has incredible benefits unlike any other area of training. The connection of a healthy mind and body working in sync with one another promotes self-healing, improves mental focus and concentration, and creates an overall wholesome life. Yoga helps to promote a balance between mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. As yoga has the power to change your entire life, the focus here is to determine which poses (most people have the ability to do) have the greatest benefit to athletic performance. There are many yoga poses to transform your athleticism. However, these 9 poses will provide the best results with the shortest amount of time.
The Connection Between Yoga and Athleticism
- Expands flexibility
- Muscle strength and tone
- Injury prevention
- Improves breathing
- Increases energy
- Manages stress
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Boosts immunity
- Improve circulation
- Protects your spine
- Perfects posture
- Makes you happier
- Takes you out into nature to quiet the mind and enjoy wonderful views
The goal of yoga is to quiet the mind while increasing the body’s flexibility, help to relieve aches and pains, prevent injury, improve metabolism, and strengthen muscles. It is crucial to increase your range of motion in your muscles and ligaments to reduce injuries from overstretching. Certainly, the improvement of flexibility has a profound impact on preventing injuries. All things considered, less injuries equates to more training time and an increase in athletic performance.
Another key point is the role of hydration in addition to a yoga routine. Hydration plays just as big of a role as yoga with the prevention of injuries. The role of hydration is to lubricate the muscle and ligaments to prevent fibers from adhering to one another. Fiber adherence leads to injury. As shown above, you must increase your water consumption with the implementation of any yoga routine.
Yoga is an intensive strength training workout. Different poses put the body in unique positions forcing the body to balance and stabilize. Yoga helps to create functional strength by enhancing smaller, stabilizing muscles, often missed with traditional weightlifting. Given these points, here are the nine best yoga poses to transform your athleticism.
9 Best Yoga Poses to Transform Your Athleticism
1. Tree Pose
How to Perform: Begin in mountain pose with your arms down by your sides. Distribute your weight evenly across both feet. Slowly, shift your weight to your left foot. Bend your right knee while bringing your right foot to your inner left thigh. Your right foot can rest above or below the left knee. Center your pelvis above your left foot. Bring your arms up and press both hands into the praying position at chest level. Inhale, extend your arms overhead and hold the pose for 1 minute. To release, lower your arms down and step into mountain pose. Repeat for opposite side.
Regions of Body Worked: The tree pose works to improve balance and coordination of the entire body. The pose promotes stretching of the torso, thighs, groin, and shoulders. Tree pose can improve flat feet and ankle instability with the strengthening of the ankles, calves, and abdominal muscles.
2. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend Pose
How to Perform: Begin in mountain pose. Bring each hand to your hips, while creating a stance several feet apart. Turn each foot slightly inward while aligning both heels. Slowly, bend your torso and reach for the ground. Bring each hand to your toes on both sides, along with keeping your elbows slightly bent. Shift your weight forward to the front of your feet. Walk your hands back to your heels bringing your elbows directly above your wrists. Your head should come down towards the ground, resting on the floor if possible. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To release, inhale and lift upward from the floor, lengthening your torso upward and back into mountain pose.
Regions of Body Worked: The wide-legged forward bend loosens up your hips, hamstrings, and calves. In addition, you open up your shoulders. Overall, you are able to enhance your mid-line stability and spine protection.
3. Chair Pose
How to Perform: Stand with your feet together to create a stable platform for a deep squat. Keep your weight evenly distributed between each leg and foot. Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your buttocks down into a seated position. Stop at a level in which you are able to maintain your balance. Gently press your legs inward towards your mid-line. Raise your arms overhead, with palms facing each other. Try to avoid overarching your back. Spread your upper back, while externally rotating your shoulders and widening your chest. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, before pushing through your feet upward and lowering your arms back down to your side.
Regions of Body Worked: The chair pose works to stimulate the diaphragm, improve your ankle stability, and tone your abdominal muscles. On the whole, the majority of the strength in this pose comes from the quads.
4. Warrior Pose
How to Perform: Begin in mountain pose with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms down by your side. Exhale while spreading your feet wide apart. Turn your right foot and hip 90 degrees. Pivot your left foot 45 degrees inward. Align your front heel with the arch of your back foot. Press your weight through your left heel while bending your right knee over the ankle. Reach your arms up, lengthen sides of your waist, and lift through your chest. Gently tilt head back, gaze up at palms, and press shoulder blades firmly inward. Hold for up to 1 minute. To release, straighten your front leg and lower your arms. Repeat with your opposite side.
Regions of the Body Worked: The warrior pose works to strengthen the back, legs, and ankles. The pose is great for the toning of the abdominal muscles and arches of both feet. In addition, the pose improves lung capacity, balance, and coordination.
5. Dolphin Pose
How to Perform: Start on the floor with your hands and knees touching the ground. Set your knees apart. Then, move your knees below your hips while moving your forearms to the ground. Exhale, lift bent knees from the floor, and lengthen your spine. Shift your pelvic area upward. Hold your head between your upper arms. Notably, straighten your legs as much as possible. With attention to the prevention of a rounded back, otherwise keep your knees slightly bent. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To release, bring your knees to the floor with an exhale.
Regions of the Body Worked: The dolphin pose focuses on stretching the hamstrings, calves, and the spine. In addition, the pose works to strengthen the abdominal muscles, arms, legs, and shoulders. In fact, this pose can be a useful regimen for relieving headaches, nausea, and insomnia.
6. Cobra Pose
How to Perform: Lie prone on the floor with the tops of your feet against the ground. Place each hand on the floor underneath your shoulder while hugging your elbows against your body. Inhale, straighten your arms to lift your chest off the floor. Then, firm your shoulder blades, push your ribs forward, and distribute the back bend evenly throughout your entire spine. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds. Exhale and release back to the floor.
Regions of the Body Worked: The main benefit of the cobra pose is to strengthen the spine, expand the lungs, and firm your buttocks. The pose works to stretch your chest, shoulders, and abdomen.
7. Standing Bow Pose
How to Perform: Begin by standing straight with your knees and arms together. Then, bring your right foot up towards the ceiling as you balance on your left. Bend your right leg. Reach your right hand back to grab hold of your right ankle with your leg arm pointing straight in front of you. Begin to slowly shift your upper body forward, without losing your balance. Keep your head level and continue to look straight out in front of you. Hold the pose for 30 seconds. To release, slowly shift your weight back, release your grip, and lower the right leg back to the ground. Repeat this pose for the opposite leg.
Regions of the Body Worked: The standing bow pose works to enhance the elasticity of the spine, stimulate the cardiovascular system, and open up the shoulder joints. The pose strengthens the entire back, abdominal muscles, hips, and buttocks. In addition, the pose will work to improve your overall posture, flexibility, and breathing.
8. Head to Knee Forward Bend Pose
How to Perform: Stand straight up with your feet together and arms at each side. Inhale, and slowly bend forward. Bring your arms downward, reaching for each ankle to grip. Push your forehead to your knees, or as close as possible if unable to touch. Hold position anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. To release, take a deep breath in as you slowly bring your upper body to the standing position.
Regions of the Body Worked: The head to knee forward bend is a great pose for increasing blood flow to the spinal nerves, reducing sciatica, and opening up the lower back. The pose works to strengthen the neck, back, shoulders, and hamstrings.
9. The Handstand Pose
Prior to the handstand, make sure to master these poses: wall kick-ups, crane pose, “L” handstands and regular handstands against the wall.
How to Perform: Start by getting into the position for a standing forward bend. Press your palms firmly into the ground (shoulder width apart). Align your wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Raise your legs into the air, positioning them directly over your hips and shoulders. Your fingers work to control the movement of your legs. Use micro adjustments to find your center of balance. Slowly bring your legs together and point your toes. To release, slowly bring one leg back down to the ground. After all, handstands are difficult and involve daily practice to master.
Regions of the Body Worked: The handstand is a great practice for balance, body awareness, and decompression of the spine by opening up the vertebrae to an increase in blood flow. The pose works to strengthen the upper body and abdominal muscles.
Will Yoga Transform Your Athleticism?
Yoga will make you a much better athlete. Start doing these nine yoga poses to transform your athleticism. Performance is important for maintaining your safety while out on an adventure. Incorporating these 9 poses into your daily or weekly training regimen will increase your flexibility, power, endurance, focus, balance, and proprioception. Yoga has the power to enhance your training recovery and prevent injuries. The combination of these amazing benefits is critical to success while out on a long day in the mountains.
In addition to the athletic benefits, yoga releases endorphins that play an important role in mood stabilization. Yoga ensures to enhance vitality, one of the leading fundamentals behind happiness and optimism. Live life with passion and excitement, fully experiencing every moment in your adventure through life. Yoga will transform your mental and physical well-being, to assist you with incorporating more adventure into your life.
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