Yoga is a time-honored tradition in our county and with the worldwide celebration of International Yoga day, yogic practices have evolved from Indian to becoming global traditions. Over centuries of inheriting this practice, Yoga is lifestyle routine in every Indian household, but it can go beyond daily health also be the means to superior athletic fitness, be it physical, mental or emotional.
Aspects within Yoga
With over 84 lakh asanas or body postures, one can perceive the level of the body’s capacity through the practice of Yoga. There are 100s of pranayama techniques revealed, each having its own unique impact on the body and mind. Practices such as ‘Khand Pranayama’ are prominently upheld on mountainous terrain to help the body to adjust to depleting oxygen levels and still remain in peak functionality. Let’s not forget the various meditation techniques that fine-tune the human brain and the emotional quotient of the practitioner.
Body toning and Posture
Each and every muscle within our body is harnessed in the practice of Asanas. These postures maneuver the human body in such ways that regular practice and steady progress bring about an athletic physique. Complex postures not only work on the basic structural muscles but also balance the internal organ functioning thus, facilitating peak body performance. Asanas bring about perfection in body posture, what is known as the Yogic Spine is a critical output of these practices. A healthy posture or spine is not simply a physical attribute, it is the central channel for all nervous activity and is responsible for instinct and impulse movements which are essential commodities for athletics and sports.
The pranayama techniques of Yoga have scientific origins and have proven to have a great impact on the human body. Be it lung capacity, betterment of strength, stamina, improved blood circulation, hormonal stability, improved digestive process, the list of advantages are endless. Each pranayama technique has specific impacts on the body and mind. For any sport, breathing and breath management is crucial and pranayama is the key practice that is sure to bring about an unexpected result in athletes. Kapalbhati, Brahmari and Khand pranayama are great techniques for athletes.
An athlete is no stranger to pain, sore, tired and strained muscles are commonplace. There are great practices in yoga such as Yoga Nidra which relax and rejuvenate. Yoga Nidra is a state of complete consciousness coupled with complete relaxation. It is a technique where each and every part of the body is concentrated on, the muscles relax and the nerves are calm. It is a completely rejuvenating experience that can equate to hours of sleep.
The mindset of an athlete
Competitive sports require an alternative mindset, both during and away from the sport. The field of competitive sports is a highly stressful one and meditation can bring about a calm, calculated thought process under any circumstance. it trains us to make split-second decisions and recover immediately to prepare for the next move. Sthiti Dhyaan and Aarambh Dhyaan are great practices one can start off with to aid the athletic mind.
Yoga is the unanticipated future of sports, athletics and superior body fitness and India is the ideal training ground. In the earliest parts of human history, we have accounts of Yoga being the practice used for moulding warriors. Today, Yoga can unravel the true capacity of Human physicality and mental capability.