Bon Zai Yoga, Bonnie Fisher, Yoga Instructor, Registered Yoga Teacher, Denver Area Yoga Instructor
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While yoga is most commonly recognized for its physical benefits such as increasing flexibility and strength building, it is the combination of improving physical and mental health that has athletes flocking to a yoga practice.

Physical Benefits:

Leaner/Toned muscles
Increased flexibility
Shorter recovery time
Increased core strength
Increased range of motion
Improved body awareness
Improved posture
Muscular symmetry
Improved balance

Mental Benefits:

Stress reduction
Improved visualization
Calmness under pressure
Improved sleep
Sharpened focus
Increased concentration
Body and breath connection

With all of these physical and mental benefits, it’s no wonder athletes of every sport and caliber are including yoga as part of their regimen. Performing the various poses, coupled with guided visualization, helps athletes to understand and benefit from the combination of mental imagery and physical action. We teach athletes how to use their minds as a tool for their bodies.

 

Muscular Strength

With yoga, the weight you are lifting and working with is your natural body weight. Your overall strength is dramatically increased as you go through and hold the various yoga poses, developing long and lean muscles.

Visualization

Visualization is imagining yourself performing a task at hand before you attempt it, ensuring your mind and body are trained to perform the skill imagined.

In yoga we teach guided visualization helping students to understand the combination of mental imagery and physical action.

Balance

Balancing yoga poses help to iron out muscular imbalances that we develop through routines, such as swinging a golf club or baseball bat - developing muscles on only side of the body. Strict mental focus is the key to balancing.

Core

The movement in yoga is slow and controlled, as you hold your body in various angles and directions. This means you must have a developed and strong mid-section around your entire body.

Injury Prevention

We all know that when your muscles are tight, they are more prone to strain or exertion-related injuries. Through a yoga practice, we enhance muscle flexibility, inhibit common sports injuries, and aid in muscle recovery, improving blood flow to strained areas.

Range of Motion

The sports we play can drastically limit our full range of motion; for example, knee and hip joints in cyclists which are never fully extended or flexed. While improved range of motion can help improve athletic performance, stretching to achieve full range of motion also prevents injuries such as over exertion. The various yoga poses focus on realigning the joints, and strengthening the muscles around them.

Flexibility

Our overall movement is determined by our flexibility. The less flexible our bodies are, the more stiff we feel, and the more prone we are to injury. In yoga, we stretch our muscles that are being overused, and strengthen those that are constantly stretched to create musculature balance.

Breath

The connection between the body, breath, and mental focus is prevalent in every sport. Concentrating on your breath gives you the ability to remain focused on the here and now. This concentration allows for greater performance on the task at hand, and can play a role in helping athletes find “the zone”. In yoga we learn the importance and techniques of deep breathing, to truly connect our breath with our movements.

 

BonZai Yoga

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