Yoga can enhance athletic performance on both a physical and mental level to assist in the prevention of injuries and decrease stress.
Yoga contributes towards the physical and skill related components of fitness, addressing the equilibrium of strength and flexibility within the body. This is crucial to sports, where athletes often have a dominant side and by reducing asymmetry within the body, the component of power is reinforced. Yoga teaches balance in a variety of poses and challenges co-ordination, which is essential for sports men and women. Yoga improves strength, with a focus on core stabilisation, to enhance fluid movement and precision, improve flexibility and create a better range of movement.
Yoga employs a psychological element that is key to optimal performance through the concept of mindfulness. This can involve meditative practices such as mantras, visualisation and/or different breathing techniques to encourage the body to relax and develop a state of positive awareness.
Yoga aids concentration, not only within sport related activities, but also in everyday life. Sleep patterns can be improved, enabling the body to recover more readily from training sessions and cognitive ability is promoted.