Home Yoga Exercises These Olympians Use Yoga to Benefit Their Bodies & Minds

These Olympians Use Yoga to Benefit Their Bodies & Minds

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Stretching Toward Gold

Olympic rivals characterize the epitome of athletic perfection. They run quicker, swim more durable, leap larger, strike extra swiftly, and wind extra rotations into their dives and flips than appears humanly attainable. They get up at 3 a.m. to train—and so they do it sore, injured, exhausted, and once they simply plain don’t really feel prefer it. Performing on the planet’s most coveted competitive stage is the results of years of unwavering dedication, superhuman self-discipline, and numerous sacrifices. Olympians embody the top of their sport whereas concurrently carrying the goals of a nation.


As onerous as this lifestyle is on their our bodies, it’s simply as demanding on their feelings, their egos, and their psyches. Earning the possibility to vie for gold within the Olympic Games means training thoughts, body, and soul—and for a lot of athletes, yoga is the bridge that connects all three.


It could appear unusual to envision elite athletes rearing into Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) to put together for Olympic greatness. But for a lot of rivals, yoga is an important piece of their efficiency puzzle—and to their transition to life after their quest for gold has ended.


“Our research shows that sport-specific yoga [practice designed for an athlete’s particular discipline] enhances the performance of athletes at all ages, from the playground to the podium,” says Hayley Winter, founding father of the Institute of Yoga Sports Science, a company that trains sport-specific yoga academics and researches the advantages of utilizing yoga to enhance athletic efficiency and stop harm. Athletes who practiced sport-specific yoga reported bodily advantages together with optimized respiratory, effectivity of movement, better body management, elevated energy output, a decreased danger of harm, and improved restoration, in accordance to Winter.


But the psychological advantages are simply as important. Winter says working towards yoga may help athletes of all ages sharpen consciousness, calm pre-performance nerves, and improve focus. “The mindset and breathing strategies of an athlete can be a determining factor between winning and losing,” she says. Yoga helps them get their head within the sport. Here, 5 elite athletes share the function their observe has performed of their Olympic goals.

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