Mindfulness and Yoga in Sports

We all know that Yoga and Meditation have serious benefits for our health and overall well being. But for pro athletes competing a high level, playing the game with Mind Control can be really rewarding. Super Bowl champion head coach Pete Carroll, who is in his seventh year as a head coach and executive vice president of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, requires that all of his players take yoga classes during the season and even credits the Zen practice for relaxing his players and keeping them focused on game day.

Any player in a high stakes game will tell you that the real game is 90 percent mental and when players align their mind and body, great outcomes are possible. Meditating helps with focus and centered state of mind while yoga helps with flexibility and helps prevents injury. Beyond the basics, here are some more benefits of yoga and meditation in sports, for each one of us who play some sort of sports, pro or not.

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  • Enhanced Energy and Focus

Yoga helps you calm down and help focus and center the energy leading to more balance on field. You can view the game as sharp as an eagle on a perch and have your mind set on what you need to do.

  • Correct the Imbalances

Yoga is a great help in balancing the body. Players train hard. Consistently lifting, running and training can lead to imbalances and even injuries. Yoga helps balance out some of these by getting you in touch with your bodies and moving a flow which works to heal those imbalances.

  • Loosen those tight muscles

Many athletes practice yoga to help keep their muscles flexible and supple. One of the biggest problem in sports can be muscles and joints getting tight. Once things start to get tight, that’s when things lockdown, and then your back starts to hurt, leading to knee, ankle and more. Keeping everything loose and supple is then a good way for an athlete to function at your highest level.

  • Extend your professional sports career

The fact is simple. When you take care of your body through yoga, it extends years on your career. Yoga is becoming more of a norm in the NBA and the NFL. Teams such as the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks now practice yoga on a regular basis. Yoga is also a required workout for all rookies and players rehabbing injuries on the New York Giants. Yoga is overall great in the long run for pro athletes with its flexibility and injury prevention benefits among others.

Yoga is about body control and mind control, together in harmony. It’s about knowing your limitations and knowing your strengths and getting acquainted with your body parts and their limits. It is a therapy for the muscles and by far the best workout your body can get. Yoga is about body awareness and body mindfulness and practiced regularly it has significant benefits equally to a pro athlete as well as the weekend hoop player like me.

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