Using Yoga to Enhance Performance & Athletic Recovery
Yoga has been adopted by a range of high profile athletes and teams in recent years, and subsequently the concept of "yoga for athletes'' has become well-entrenched in the mainstream consciousness too. Yoga can indeed be an excellent complement to athletic training, whether for recreational athletes, elite competitors, or the casual active weekend warrior. However, the needs of individuals will vary significantly based on sport, individual limitations, and training goals, which means that one-size-fits-all approach is unproductive and ineffective.
The tools and opportunities that yoga offers in terms of supporting athletic performance and recovery are numerous: enhanced tissue recovery, nervous system down-regulation, maintenance of sport-specific range of motion, and injury prevention amongst others. Gaining a basic understanding of the mechanisms that drive these benefits allows us to make informed decisions to practice in ways that truly support our movement goals! This short talk is designed to provide insight into how you can productively incorporate yoga into your training and use it to enhance your performance, rather than inadvertently creating an additional stressor that depletes your energetic resources. In the bigger picture, you'll also learn how to navigate YMO's content library and intelligently select classes that seamlessly fit into your training schedule, whether that means setting aside time for intentional rest to make the most of your recovery day, training tissue resilience to safeguard against injury, using myofascial release to support mobility, or picking a suitable class to help you warm up for your workout.
Click the links below to read the research referenced throughout this lecture:
• Epidemiology of Collegiate Injuries for 15 Sports: Summary and Recommendations for Injury Prevention Initiatives, Hootman et al, 2007
• Mindfulness starts with the body: somatosensory attention and top-down modulation of cortical alpha rhythms in mindfulness meditation, Kerr et al 2013
• Potential self-regulatory mechanisms of yoga for psychological health, Gard et al 2014
• Mitigating the Antecedents of Sports-related Injury through Yoga, D Abro et al 2020