Yoga is practically the kind of practice that accentuates all kinds of physical, spiritual and mental activities in a person’s life. Talking about yoga for sportspeople has a history to it. Yoga travelled from its eastern home towards the world with Swami Vivekananda. He had a great role in delivering yoga to an international audience, and since then began the spreading of yoga to different parts of the world.
Yoga is an age old traditional practice that originated in India. It was founded by the ancient yogis. This was a practice that was devised to reach beyond the human conscious, thinking, reasoning, intellect, behavior, personality and everything that constructed the materialistic human identity. It took the yogis a good amount of decades before they got the practice to benefit towards their aim and later had the practice scripture sacredly inside the pages of the Rig Veda. When they finally were ready with the knowledge and the exact practice of yoga, they truly realized the existence of the spiritual realm within them. This realm of existence was unique to each person; but was somehow connected to all the other realms of spiritual existences of so many other people surrounding them. This was when they realized the true meaning of “all are one”.
Yoga was a way to unite these existences. Yoga translated to “the union”. It quite possibly meant firstly the union of the body and the mind to reach a spiritual existence and secondly to unite all the other spiritual realms to reach a one-ness of the greater universal existence.
Through the scriptures and ancient yogis (the original practitioners of yoga), yoga survived to live through the centuries to help us all with the difficult times of mankind.
The 21st century is a fast paced world and we hardly have time for ourselves. We are consumed by the idea of the “more” and that has made us ignore the very potential in our existences. Anyhow, yoga has been a source of comfort, balance, good health and overall happiness to many even in this world. There are millions of people who realize the positive effect that yoga has brought to them. All these people are embarking upon a yogic journey as told by the numbers joining the world yoga association.
Yoga has brought holistic benefits to people working in media, spirituality, music, religion, business, art and many more walks of life. Yoga has brought a significant change in the sports world as well. Very evidently, yoga has helped people become the better, efficient, persistent, persevered, balanced, healthy, happy, relaxed, and confident versions of them but that is just a small aspect of the overall benefits of yoga. The best part is that all these benefits that are gained are long-lived and sustainable gains.
The pillars of yoga including breathing practice, physical practice, meditation and asanas help a sportsperson to unite the powers of the mind and the body, so that at the field, the forces are not working at odds with each other. It provides a sense of reinvented vitality and concentration along with a relaxed state of mind at the field.
Many sports organizations are now investing in sending their players to yoga retreats as a means of practice before an event. There is yoga vacations held internationally. Some of the best are the yoga retreats in Nepal and the yoga retreats in Thailand.
A few reasons why yoga is beneficial for sports persons are because:
- The mindfulness that is involved with yoga helps a person understand their body with accuracy. This further enables them to identify the areas of their bodies that are affected and then they can concentrate on correcting and strengthening those affected areas with persistent training.
- Usually in a competition athletes have a tendency to underestimate themselves at the stake of overestimating their competitors, this generates the fear of losing and prevents them from giving their best performance. What yoga does is it helps them train beforehand to continuously be the best versions of themselves at each moment and hold their self-esteem to their highest standards. This helps them prevent the mistake of inculcating preconceived limitations for them.
- Due to rigorous training and performances, athletes go through long-term injuries that lead to an imbalance in their bodies. Yoga helps them retain this physical balance and harmony to retain the natural rhythm of their bodies enabling them to perform without fear of their injuries. Yoga also works intricately in the healing process of these injuries and works towards a holistic healing.
- Yoga practices are not as rigorous as going to the gym. You may notice that where a gym session would exhaust you thoroughly in the end of the session; a yoga session leaves you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Yoga asanas involve gentle but persistent stretches that actually work on strengthening the spine, muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons and making them nimble and energetic. These practices help the joints and muscles knit a stronger built that builds resilience to many injuries.
- Yoga does not only work on the physical aspect of a body, but also the mental existence. The meditation and mindfulness practice of yoga make a mind agile and increases its agility. This is the kind of agility that is important to sportspeople as this helps them react to situations faster and wholly.
Yoga in general is a great practice for sportspeople and people working in professional fields. In the sports field one is in constant pressure of competition at all times. But once one has gained the equanimity of a yogi it becomes easier to tackle these situations and even receiving winning or losing gracefully.
Author Bio :
Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He organize 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh. Bipin Baloni conducts Yoga Teacher Training in India in different cities. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature, Himalayas and Trekking in India.