Why Yoga Is Good For Athletes
How I Learned to Stop Hating Yoga
It may be National Yoga Month — a time to celebrate the ancient practice by trying out new studios around your city — but stick me in a yoga class, and my mind and breath are bound to wander. Yoga for me has always been an hour and a half of feeling incredibly awkward and inflexible and wondering when it would be time for my favorite pose (Savasana, of course).
I've heard from people who have a similar level of patience as me claim that yoga is also their least favorite way to work out. The slow pace is at odds with my workout of choice, running, and I imagine those who like to blow off steam at kickboxing class, for example, also find it hard to hold poses and quietly introspect while in yoga.
After a few years' hiatus from my very beginner's yoga practice, however, I've begun to realize just how integral yoga is to my routine. For one, stretching out my tired runner's hamstrings and hips is always a good thing. For another, yoga offers a way to quiet the mind while strengthening the entire body and increasing body awareness — all-important factors when you are always on the go or stressing about your program when training for a race.
As inflexible as they come, I'm still struggling to perfect my Tree Pose and inch my heels closer to the floor while I Downward Dog, but taking an occasional yoga class has helped me realize just how important the workout can be for athletes and yogis alike. So while I won't be attempting a Tick Tock anytime soon, I've slowly been adding yoga to my normal Tabata and treadmill routine, with great results. Turns out, yoga might just have something for everyone.