Here’s Why Athletes Need Yoga, Too

Set aside any misconceptions of Instagram girls posting yoga poses alongside their makeup demos and snaps of their coffee.

Yoga has benefits for even the most serious endurance and recreational athletes.

How can it enhance your high-intensity routine?

Take a look at these benefits of yoga for athletes.

Boost Body Processes

Your performance depends on the optimum functioning of processes like breathing, circulation, and digestion. Yoga improves all of those for more efficient energy use.

Better Channel Your Energy

Power leakages lead to wasted energy and effort. If your body is as perfectly aligned as it can be, you’ll make every single shot/punch/kick/run/ride/whatever count.

Improve Focus

Yoga is a practice in breathing and meditation. When you learn how to control your mind and emotions, you’ll be able to better focus on your goals.

Enhance Strength

Yoga won’t add bulk like weights do. But you will gain an agile kind of strength since the various poses have you supporting your body weight on different muscles.

Reduce Chances of Injury

As you strengthen your core, you will draw on the right muscles for power in more intensive maneuvers. Yoga can keep your spine flexible to help you avoid injury.

Get Better Balance

What sport discipline does balance not matter in? Yoga is a gentle yet powerful way to fine-tune your center of balance.

Recover Faster

Here’s where that stretching comes in handy. Most athletes turn to yoga with good reason while recovering from an injury.

Take yoga with our team where we harmonize it with performance and sports training. Get your first yoga class in Atlanta on the house when you sign up with STACK Sports Performance and Therapy.

Posted on behalf of STACK Sports Training & Therapy

How can MUSE make it easier for you to meditate?

When we lift weights, it strengthens our body. Meditation is like lifting weights for your brain: the more you do it the stronger your mind grows. The hard part about meditation is that it’s very difficult to get the same kind of feedback that we get when weightlifting. When I can lift more than I used to, I know I’m getting stronger. But how do I know I’ve gotten better at meditating?

This is what makes the MUSE so valuable for people who are interested in starting a meditative practice. The system senses your brain activity while you’re meditating and then gives you feedback in real time.

Are you staying calm, or are you is your mind active?

While using MUSE, you plug headphones into your tablet or smartphone, open the app, connect the headset, and you’re off and running. When MUSE sees that your brain is calm, you will hear serene weather, as though you’re sitting at the beach on a peaceful day. When you hear birds chirping, you know that you are remaining calm. When your mind wanders, the waves begin to crash louder and the weather begins to sound stormy.

This simple mechanism provides instant and clear feedback on the quality of your meditation. Suddenly you have a way to know if you’re meditating “well.” MUSE also tracks and stores data on your sessions so you can see your progress over time. While it would normally be very difficult to know when we have learned how to stay present for longer periods of time, with MUSE it’s easy. You can, for instance, look at the number of birds that “chirp” during your sessions; more birds equals better quality meditation!

The app then gives you challenges to encourage you to build a regular habit of meditating. Starting with just three minutes at a time, you earn rewards for practicing daily or for practicing multiple times a day. High frequency is vital to forming a successful habit. Just like anything new, it takes practice to get good at it. The important thing is that you carve out time out of your day to meditate. Over time you will get better at hearing more birds and being able to be still and meditate for longer periods of time, but only if you cultivate a meditation practice each and every day.

The benefits of meditation are many and varied. At Velocity, we recommend it because of its benefits on sports performance. Learning how to deal with frustration, loss, and adversity are necessary skills for anyone who wants to compete at the elite level. Meditation is one tool that helps our athletes learn how to calm their minds when the pressure is on, but just like any skill, it has to be practiced regularly. No competitive athlete would expect to get physically stronger by training sporadically or infrequently, and the same is true for meditation. Caring for your mind can be a powerful tool in taking your performance to the next level.