The benefits of yoga for athletes is something that has been widely studied. I am an avid tennis player and I will never forget the moment when I was watching the tennis channel and they put up a question onto the screen, "what is the single most beneficial thing you can do for your tennis game," yoga. As it turns out yoga makes you incredibly quick on your feet. Stretching out those muscles causes you to have the ability to get balls and move in ways you could not do otherwise. I decided to take them up on it and start doing yoga. Check out this video below.
I can't tell you the transformation in my game as far as my agility and quickness went. I began to get balls that I could never have gotten to in the past. I simply could not believe how much improvement I got after I adopted a regular at-home yoga practice. Check out these poses for your tennis game below.
Where Can You Learn More About Yoga Poses
I purchased several DVD's on Amazon to help me make sure I was doing the poses correctly and also assist me in alternative poses that I was not able to do initially. This DVD really changed my life in so many ways, it was called Yin/Yang Yoga. You can buy it here at Amazon.
Yin Yang Yoga
Yin Yang Yoga is long hold yoga practices. Basically, you decided where your body needs the most help and then you go after it with these long hold poses. The goal is to stay in these poses at least 5 minutes. Believe me, that isn't easy especially when you are very tight in certain areas. I had to work up to it starting out and a minute and over a period of months finally doing up to 5 minutes in each of the poses. This is the DVD I used and loved it.
The whole experience was surprising and initially, I went into this hoping for an improvement in my tennis game, but what I got was so much more. I found that being in these poses brought up a lot of emotions. Often times I would break out in sobs and have no idea why or where they were coming from. All I know is with each emotional outburst came more and more flexibility. Pretty soon I began to realize that I was holding old pain and feelings in certain tight areas of my body. Everyone is different, everyone holds in different places, but we all hold.
Holding Patterns are Stored in Certain Areas of the Body
Often times the holding patterns are related to our life experiences. I had a good friend who I invited to start joining me in my Yin Yang Yoga at my house. We quickly discovered that she was extremely tight in her hips. Knowing her as I do, I knew she could not have children and that she had suffered a lot of female health issues. I got her into a pose that really gets deep into your hips, we stayed in it for 5 minutes when she broke out into sobbing. I encouraged her to stay in the pose and allow the emotions to fully release. Coming out of the pose too soon will stop the reaction and you could lose the benefits of the release. For me, I stored my emotions in the heart center. Having gone through some difficult emotional times in my life that literally broke my heart, it wasn't a surprise that most of my release came in wheel or any poses that opened up that area. We seem to know where we store our stuff, it is something that is very intuitive I could pretty much ask anyone where they think they are holding and they would know. It is not difficult to feel where the trouble areas are. Releasing that stored up emotions is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Emotional Releases During Yoga are a Gift
Releases are referred to in yoga as a gift. We can't will them to happen, they just happen when they are ready to happen. Often times after we experience a release and the cleansing benefits we received from it, we start to go into our practice hoping for more of them. This is a mistake. Yoga is a spiritual experience and very transformational. Allowing it to unfold in its own time is crucial. If anyone has had any spiritual experiences while meditating, they will understand this concept as it is much the same.
Yoga as we age
As we become older, taking falls and losing our balance becomes an issue. Yoga can really help us with that problem. When we lose our flexibility we become very blocky so it is easy to go down like a pillar and lose your balance. Once you regain that flexibility you are pliable and bendable and not as susceptible to taking a fall and being top heavy if you know what I mean. Losing our flexibility can make us feel old and not ourselves. By regaining control of our bodies we begin to feel young again. We start to have a new perspective on life and more control of how we chose to age. Check out the benefits of yoga as we age in this article.