When athletes are participating in elite play (such as nationals, qualifiers, playoffs, and championships), their goal should be restoring the body and mind in order to maintain focus and prevent burnout. The most effective recovery methods for athletes to use to get through the post-season, and ahead of the competition, are breathwork, meditation, and restorative yoga.
Restorative yoga creates a state of deep relaxation by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest system) with long-held, prop-supported poses that gently stretch the muscles. This type of passive stretching allows for muscles to relax and not surpass their edge. Unlike yin yoga, restorative yoga has been found to stimulate collagen and encourage healing over time.
Taking time to rest and restore is essential to being a healthy athlete, especially during times of intense competition. It can reduce fatigue, decrease stress, boost performance, and keep the mind sharp. However, trying to add more to an already jam packed schedule can seem impossible. That’s why we’ve made it easy with on-demand recovery!
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Sign up for a 7-day free trial of YAX Online to get access to all our on-demand season specific recovery content (including yoga, breathwork, and meditation).
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Yoga by Season
Athletes should focus on maintaining a dynamic flexibility practice and building strength around the joints for injury prevention and stabilization.
Athletes are participating in intense work on the court/field, so they should focus on maintaining flexibility with a consistent but mellow yoga practice.
Athletes should improve focus by practicing breathwork and minimal yoga, as well as meditating to visualize success.
Athletes should work on light training, strength building, increasing ROM, injury rehab, and improving limitations/imbalances with functional movement screening, corrective exercise, and yoga.
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Yoga can be used as corrective exercise to improve sport-specific imbalances and prevent injury.