Yoga and Athletic Performance

How Yoga Helps Boost Athletic Performance

When you think of yoga, you might not think of athletes looking to gain a competitive edge in their sport of choice. However, there are a lot of athletes who use yoga to boost their energy and endurance. Read on to find out some of the advantages yoga offers to athletes.

Strengthen Underused Muscles

No matter what kind of sport you are in, you will exercise the same muscle groups when you are working out. Your whole system will suffer because of imbalances formed by overused muscles. When you practice yoga, you will learn poses that concentrate on different muscle groups. Some are ones that you do not think about using in a workout. When you strengthen your underused muscles, you can prevent injury and improve your performance as an athlete.

Deep, Mindful Breathing

One of the hallmarks of yoga practice is mindful breathing. While you are practicing the various poses, you take deep breaths and slowly exhale. You are aware of your expanding lungs and the stretching of your diaphragm. Different stretches also open the lungs to allow for more air. The more oxygen you get, the better performance you can get from your brain and muscles. Mindful breathing is important for strenuous sports to help your endurance levels and prevent you from feeling winded.

Strength and Balance

You can definitely expect to strengthen your core when you practice yoga. Many of the poses have a focus on developing a strong core so that you are able to support your body for a period of time. Having a strong core gives you good protection for your lower back and increased power and stability throughout your trunk. Your arms and legs will benefit from a stronger core, and you’ll enjoy improvements to your balance and posture.

Increased Energy Levels

Yoga can help you to build more energy within your body and use it more efficiently. Athletes need the maximum amount of energy for each performance. Stretching your body and opening up your joints relieves stiffness and aches which in turn helps your body save the energy it would have wasted on your pains. Suffering from tight joints and muscles wastes energy so practice yoga and watch how much energy you gain.


Great athletes know that performance is just as much mental as it is physical. Yoga teaches you to be aware of your body and stay calm in your mind. You learn how to be present in the moment. These lessons are valuable when you are training or performing as an athlete. The calmness and positive thinking can increase your endurance. When you become stressed, you learn how to bring your mind into focus. Soon, you have a greater awareness between your body, mind, and spirit.

If you pair yoga with your regular training, you will quickly see the benefits for your athletic performance. For more information about yoga and how it can help you, go to