Yoga may be what you need to improve athletic performance
For everyday athletes to seasoned pros alike, regularly incorporating yoga into your fitness routine has many benefits—some you might not get from other training methods like high-intensity endurance work, steady-state cardio, or strength training.
While yoga certainly can’t replace these methods of training, it can definitely complement your regimen and test your body (and mind) in ways picking up a pair of dumbbells or lacing up a pair of running shoes may not.
As Tempo’s Head Yogi, Jeremy Falk, said in a recent interview, “In yoga, we’re asking, ‘Can I do a really hard, stressful, and difficult thing while keeping my breath steady and my heart rate under control?’ Can I operate in a productive yet relaxed performance zone for long periods of time? Can I stay calm in the chaos and do more in the long run by not burning out right now?’ It’s a highly valuable skill to have.”
5 Benefits of Yoga and How It Makes Everyday Life Better
Eliminating Body Imbalances: When training for a sport, there can often be an emphasis on specific repetitive movements and exercises to increase strength and endurance. While important, this emphasis leaves the opportunity for certain muscles to be underutilized and certain skills underdeveloped
With static poses and holds and less repetitive motions, Because yoga is a well-rounded practice that involves strength, endurance, balance, coordination, agility, and more, it can help you quickly identify where weaknesses may lay in the body. Yoga really tests the parts of your body that may be less engaged during other types of training and exercise — and helps get them stronger.
By improving body imbalances, you can improve things like, well, balance. Life isn’t always lived on just two feet; there may be instances where you need to balance on one leg to pick something up, or you may have to navigate uneven surfaces. Whatever the case may be, ensuring your body is in balance and in sync is incredibly important.
Breathing: Think about any heavy strength training or challenging HIIT class. Chances are you’re breathing at an accelerated pace.
Yoga can train you to control your breathing to make sure that in similar situations, your breaths are intentional, deliberate, and also effective.
“The breath is informing the nervous system and the nervous system informs the breath. When we're panicked and stressed, breath gets shallow and rapid,” explains Jeremy. “Likewise, if we allow shallow and rapid breathing, it will tell our nervous system to react as if we're panicked and stressed.”
When we slow down our breath, it sends a signal to our nervous system that there's no stressors and it can relax — it can allow you to feel good and at ease.
As Jeremy mentioned above, yoga pushes you to maintain control and stability even when you’re being tested with something really tough. A big part of that is understanding how to breathe correctly to facilitate increased endurance capacity and recovery.
Breathing may seem incredibly natural, but in many scenarios, our bodies can unconsciously breathe in ways that aren’t beneficial to us. It can be as simple as forgetting to breathe during a heavy weight training set. Or breathing too shallowly while on a run. Having a firm grasp on effective and proper breathing technique can literally allow you to breathe easy.
Mental Resilience: Yoga can be meditative and can encourage you to be “in the moment.” Holding unfamiliar or uncomfortable poses while remaining calm and controlled is very challenging and can help you develop mental toughness and clarity.
When navigating daily life, we’re all bound to encounter stressful situations — both physical and emotional — that will test our anxiety and demeanor. Practicing yoga can help us understand how to process and be mindful during these times.
Recovery: Yoga is a fantastic option for active recovery or, as mentioned above, a chance to recenter yourself mentally. Whether you’ve had a tough workout or a tough day at work, the link between your breath and your nervous system can help your body know more deeply what needs attention and repairing.
Flexibility and Range of Motion: With the deep stretching involved in yoga, your flexibility will likely improve. With improved flexibility comes improved range of motion. You may find that you can do simple things you couldn’t before, like bend down to touch your toes or twist your body more easily to grab something
Flexibility and improved range of motion can greatly improve your overall athletic performance. Consider being able to generate even more power in your golf swing because it has a fuller range of motion. Or being able to reach farther and more effortlessly to grab something without putting your body in a suboptimal position.
More About Tempo Yoga
Tempo yoga has officially launched in beta and will soon include real-time form feedback thanks to Tempo 3D Vision, making it the first of its kind when it comes to at-home yoga workouts. The addition of Tempo 3D Vision means that alongside Jeremy’s expertly taught classes, Tempo members, from yoga beginners to experts, will have the safest and most effective yoga classes possible at home.
Tempo members now have unlimited access to Jeremy’s growing library of yoga classes, which can be found under Tempo’s Class tab.
Stay tuned for more news as Tempo’s 3D Vision continues development for yoga.