Yoga is a practice that connects the body, breath, and mind. It was developed as a spiritual practice thousands of years ago. Let us drill down a little more into it and look at the benefits of yoga for athletes.
Here are five yoga asanas that every athlete should practice.
1. Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana also known as a Dog pose provides a full-body stretch. It also strengthens your bones and helps in digestion, removes fatigue, gives peace to your mind, and improves blood circulation.
- Begin on hands and knees.
- Keep your hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips.
- Spread your fingers and ground down from the forearms into your fingertips.
- Rotate your upper arms to broaden the collarbones.
- Now, rotate your thighs inward, keep your tail high, and sink your heels towards the floor.
- The distance between the hand and feet should be the same in these two poses.
- Exhale and come bend your knees to release and come back to your hands and knees.
It is also known as the Camel pose.it is helpful in opening the heart chakra and improving the body posture. It also stimulates the endocrine system and helps in the regulation of hormones.
- Kneel down on the yoga mat with your knees hip-width apart and feet flat on the ground.
- Place your hands on your hips and draw your elbows towards each other.
- the top of your feet into the floor and lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling.
- Lift your chest while inhaling and lean back by keeping your hands on the hips.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths and relax.
The boat pose in Sanskrit is referred to as Navasana. It tones the muscles of the abdomen and back. It also puts the muscles of the core, hips, thighs, and back into work, making them more flexible and robust.
- Begin by lying down flat on the yoga mat with your feet together and arms on the sides.
- Inhale and lift the chest and feet off the mat.
- As you exhale, stretch your arms towards your feet.
- Remain in the pose for about 10-30 seconds or more while you’re holding your breath.
- Slowly exhale to bring the body back to its starting position and relax.
4. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana also known as the Pigeon pose helps in supporting mobility and flexibility in the joints. It also opens your hips and eases lower back pain.
- Start in the Downward-Facing Dog Pose.
- After that, bring the left knee toward the outside and set the shin on the floor with the ankle toward the right waist.
- Slide the right leg back until a good stretch.
- Lower the torso over your right leg, and stretch the arms straight in front keeping the elbows slightly bent.
- Gently hold on to this position for 5-10 breaths.
- Repeat on the other side.
Vīrabhadrasana also known as Warrior pose embodies the mythic warrior Vīrabhadra, according to the Vedic teachings. It targets your shoulders, arms, and back, and strengthens your legs.
- Stand on the mat and split the legs at a distance of 3-4 feet.
- Keep the right foot facing forward.
- Gently lift both arms sideways to shoulder height with palms facing upward.
- Bend the right knee over the big toe and keep your left leg straight.
- Slowly look to your right and stretch your arms.
- Inhale and exhale as you go down further.
- Breathe out, and bring your hands down from the sides.
- Return back to the base position.
- Repeat the same from the left side.
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