Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yoga for athletes

"I don't need a class to teach me how to stretch..."

Famous words from my basketball-playing brother after I watched him try to touch his toes.

Yoga actually has some amazing benefits for athletes.  Not only can it help with muscular fitness and flexibility, but there is a huge mental component there as well.

In a yoga class, you must remain in the moment, focusing on your breath, focusing on your alignment in each posture while, at the same time, relaxing into it, not overdoing it, and just keeping your mind in the present.   Sound familiar?

One reason I love yoga is because I feel like I have had a massage on the inside of my body afterwards.  One yoga teacher described twists as "wringing out stagnation like a wet sponge so that you can allow fresh oxygenated blood to flow through your body.

The other draw for me is the meditative feeling I get when I'm in class.  For one whole hour I am focused on the present. I'm not thinking about last night or my to-do list for later in the day.  I am in the "now."  And it is pretty remarkable how calm and at peace your brain feels when it can slow down.

Here is an article on how yoga can benefit athletes.

There are so many great yoga studios in this town.  Black Swan Yoga just opened its doors this week, so I went to check it out and loved it! (and I'm really picky about my yoga)

It is located on 5th street on the left as you approach Lamar from Mopac.  This is a donation- based studio.  Yes, you heard right.  And what a great idea!  They suggest $10 per class or pay what you can.  I really enjoyed my class with a guy named Jerry who was truly insane but in a very very good way.

So this weekend, try a yoga class.  Don't go in with expectations, just go with an open mind.

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