Yoga for Athletes [Is it Worth it?]

There’s so much I love about yoga. But what about yoga for athletes?

I love the attention to your breath and mindfulness.

I love the wide variety of shapes and positions you are asked to assume.

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I love the idea of being physically active.

I love that there are so many different types of yoga that you can practice. You can practice hot yoga, bikram, flow yoga or even yoga meditation.

At its core, yoga is amazing.

This is what I know about the human body. I know that the body functions at its best when it can get into a lot of different positions. We don’t want to be stiff and restricted in the way that we move. We need to be able to produce GREAT single leg stance which yoga has the power to make that happen.

Female athlete doing yoga in the water

I know that we can never move properly or be completely healthy if we aren’t breathing properly. This sounds like a given, but for most, breathing is not something that should be taken for granted. Quite frankly, it’s hard to do right. Simply correcting your breathing mechanics can have dramatic effects on your body. It’s a big deal!

I know that the neurology we work with every day craves patterns. It craves associations. It wants to take the world around you and relate it back to a previous experience so it can decide what to do. When we become overly reliant on these patterns, we get stiff. We get stiff because our brain is predicting that we don’t need that range of motion because we never use it. In order to do this, we have to find some way to by-pass the neocortex. The neocortex is constantly referencing the past in order to predict for the future. If you want to bypass the cortex, you have to be present. You have to be mindful. You have to be deliberate and different.

I also know that exercise is extremely beneficial. Surprising I know! I don’t need to tell you that exercise has a TON of serious benefits to our health and performance, but I may need to tell you that all exercise isn’t created equal.

Yoga checks every one of these boxes, but like everything else there is a down-side. Most of the downside comes from teachers who simply do not understand the human body at the depth they need to. Getting into bad positions, stretching for stretching sake and not a full comprehension of the respiratory system are all major problems with the yoga industry.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise though. In every industry, there are good professionals and bad professionals. It can be difficult to find instructors who take the complexity of the human body seriously. There are yoga teachers who spend thousands on education and others who think of books as an oddly designed yoga block. 

If you are checking the boxes above, which, from my experience (which is admittedly limited), most places do, then you’re doing something pretty solid. But I want you to understand that flexibility is not necessarily a good thing. I want you to know that they may not be teaching you the best way to breathe and they may not understand the human body the way you want them to. Every instructor should have a great understanding of single leg stance

Yoga can be an extremely powerful tool if taught by the right teacher. Finding the right teacher is pretty challenging though. Especially if you have no idea what you’re looking for. This is why I created the genMAX course. I wanted to equip the world with the proper principles. When the foundation is strong, so many modalities can bring massive benefit but the foundation has to be strong.

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