The flexibility and stability gained from yoga is great for runners, cyclists and climbers, and it’ll boost performance and prevent injury.
Plus, because yoga is about so much more than the body, it’ll teach you handy breathing techniques and how to focus and feel a bit more zen before a big challenge or race.
Every athlete could benefit from a yoga session or two thanks to its focus on flexing and loosening the muscles. Not only will your enhanced flexibility and range of motion help make running, riding or climbing feel better, it’ll also help increase your stride and reach, making you more efficient. What’s not to like?
It’s strange to think that an exercise can energise you when sometimes post-workout all you want to do is go to sleep! But that’s another thing that makes yoga so unique. While lots of sports steal from your body’s energy stores, yoga oxygenates the blood and creates more energy, meaning mind and body feel more energetic. So, a post-run, cycle or climb session on the mat could be exactly what you need to recover.
Yoga can affect more than just your muscles and joints, it provides a workout of sorts for your whole cardiovascular, skeletal and, importantly for runners, cyclists and climbers, respiratory systems. Your internal organs will genuinely benefit from regular yoga practice.
For runners and cyclists in particular, lung capacity is key – the better it is, the more oxygen that’s circulated through your system, meaning you can run or ride harder for longer. Yogic breathing involves slow, deep inhalations and long exhalations that utilise the whole of your lungs, helping to increase lung capacity and overall performance. This mindful breathing can help with a climber’s steadiness and calm in stressful situations too.