Yoga teaches us moderation and therefore it is important to bring in other forms of exercise to keep the physical body fit. As well as practicing yoga, I enjoy taking part in various sports and I have found this helps me broaden my approach to teaching.
Many of my students have come to yoga to help improve their bodies to enhance their sporting performance or get over sporting injuries. Through broadening my knowledge base outside of yoga, I can teach from experience as to how yoga can benefit other physical activites. We can improve flexibility, employ better breathing techniques, develop balance and strengthen endurance and mental determination.
Yoga is a fantastic place to start for those wishing to get into physical exercise and it is a powerful tool for those who want to develop their abilities further.
There are many examples of top athletes who use yoga to improve their performance. Here are just a few:
David James, England Goalkeeper: "I came to yoga as part of my rehabilitation process but quickly saw the benefit of an on going practice. I now have regular sessions to keep my muscles flexible, my body aligned and my mind free from stress."
Ted Johnson, American Footballer: prepares for playing in front of 60,000 fans by doing yoga. Ted started yoga as injuries had affected flexibility in his upper body. He now finds he is more centred and able to make fast decisions with greater clarity.
Andy Murray, British Tennis no1: was introduced to yoga by his new fitness trainers Jez Green and Matt Little. "It has helped me a lot with my fitness and my mental strength..."
Welsh National Rugby Team: took up yoga as part of their World Cup preparations. Fitness coach Andy Hore signed up the entire 55-man squad for weekly lessons to improve the players' kicking ability, speed and power.
Keri Hehn, US Olympic Swimmer: “I do have to say, the day after I do yoga I swim so much faster because my muscles are loose and I am not as sore... I would definitely recommend yoga to any athlete that wants an extra edge by learning about their body!”