Cross Train with Yoga and watch your performance improve.  What are your goals?  Improving your golf swing, reaching the crack that alludes you on your unconquered climbing route, shaving time off your 94.7 or just trying to remain uninjured so you can finally run Comrades.  Yoga can assist you reach all these goals.

After your training, join us at Yoga Warrior's studio in Rosebank to experience the edge that yoga can make to you moving beyond your usual boundaries and hurdles.  Within a 1 hour class you will learn yoga techniques that you can easily include in your training programme to witness an acceleration in your performance.

"I just rode my best Argus.....Yoga has really helped my cycling, I feel I'm getting stronger in my old age" Mark Gelman

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Tennis pros Pete Sampras and Venus and Serena Williams use yoga to boost core strength, increase flexibility, improve coordination, and help heal or prevent injuries. And pro teams including the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants, and Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, are integrating yoga into their training regimens.

So what does yoga do? Firstly it gives you range of motion in all the joints of the body as it is a fully integral workout for the entire body.  Whatever your sport you've got some overworked muscles in the body.  If you're a swimmer, you may be suffering from tight shoulders, a runner, definitely the hamstrings are shortened, a cyclist, you've got a chronically tight lower back, hunched shoulders, never mind the tight quads and calves and the golfer, you lack balance in the body from the repetitive twisting to one side.  Yoga practice strengthens the muscles that are underused and releases the muscles that are overworked from your particular sport.  Taking cycling for example, the repetitive isolated movement through the knee joint can cause injuries whether you're a spinner, road or mountain cyclist, while yoga can make your joints and body more flexible by 10-20%.  Moreover flexible muscle groups have increased strength and this in turn produces more pedal power.  Increased leg and overall body performance; that can make a considerable difference to your PBT!  A further by-product of this integral workout is that the body trains as a connective unit.  Particular yoga postures teach the student that every limb and muscle of the body are integral to the posture, for example, downward facing dog.  This produces an athlete fully in their body; using its machine with the understanding of how each screw and function contributes to the whole.

Mountain Bikers in the winter, Northern Farm copyright

Secondly yoga is excellent for building core strength, because it involves moving the body in various directions and angles through postures requiring stability and balance, often in an unusual relationship to gravity. The key is flexible strength, and that's what yoga develops. Too many people still think abdominal training is doing crunches, which does nothing for flexibility. If you just train for strength, your muscles can actually shorten. And if you train in only one direction, you're limiting your range of motion.






Thirdly it prevents injuries or can facilitate a quicker recovery time when injured.  It is often an injury that leads people in to their very first yoga class following their physiotherpaist recommending it as a form of healing.  Ironically regular attendance at yoga could have prevented the injury in the first place.  Contracted and hard trained muscles often lack elascticity, the muscle tear that goes hand in hand with hard training can eventually take its toll and cause an injury that puts the athlete out of action for a few weeks.  This can be fatal in the buildup to a sporting event and may ultimately mean dropping out.  A regular yoga practice can keep the muscles and joints healthy and flexible, making time invested in yoga not a luxury but an essential part of any training schedule.

Fourthly it heightens concentration and focus.  This can be the edge in your performance.  When I trained for the NYC marathon on top of running 6 days a week, I was attending 3-4 advanced classes a week as well.  The combination was phenomenal and allowed me to quickly see the results of this potent cocktail.  I would attend the NYC Road Runners Sprint Training in Central Park and every time I went it happened to be the hill sprint.  I was an average runner and in an intermediate group including men I wouldn't have obviously come first but each time I astounded myself by doing just that.  It made me think about why; I had to attribute it to the yoga.  The mindfulness that yoga provides can enhance any aspect of your life; it teaches you how to be in the present moment, fully.  This means that when you're cycling up a tough hill you are completely in your body, feeling the mechanics of your body performing for you, just as when you're bathing your child, that's the moment you're in!  My yoga after a few years of practice had given me so much stamina, and clarity of mind, that I was able to stay with the struggle of my physical body to run up to the very top of the hill outrunning everybody else.  The focus on the breath is integral to this mindfulness.  Every movement in yoga is synchronised with the breath.  Since our breath is the only thing that is truly in the present moment, focusing entirely on it leaves you plumb in the middle of NOW.  The breath is also calming so in the midst of the stress of a race, staying with the breath can clear the mind and be the calm in the storm.  So the sychronicity of my breath when running meant I could run powerfully and efficiently.

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