How Aerial Yoga Can Help Professional Athletes
Whether for increased stamina or flexibility, yoga is one of the best workouts to complement your fitness regime. It also incorporates the tenets of mindfulness meditation, and its benefits were previously discussed here on Aradia Fitness.
What’s also good about yoga is that it comes in many different forms. There’s Hatha, which requires holding poses longer; Bikram, which is practiced in a 40 °C heated room; and Vinyasa, the traditional pace of yoga which features a series of asana movements.
There’s also another type that’s unlike the rest though – aerial yoga, and it requires you to be suspended via a hammock. It combines some principles of Pilates in its movements too, which makes it more challenging. Also known as anti-gravity yoga, this type of exercise can be invaluable to professional athletes.
Proper core engagement for a stronger back
Shape chatted with aerial yoga studio owner Lindsey Duggan, who explained that the workout seems to be one of the best abdominal workouts around. “A benefit of taking your routine off the ground is that you lose your point of stability; you’ll start to engage your core immediately without even realizing it,” Duggan explains.
Aerial yoga also incorporates different inversions, which aid in maintaining spine health. Not only that, as two to five minutes of doing inverted poses like hand stands regularly can also improve heart and lung function. They’re also effective in strengthening the immune system and inducing good mood.
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Needless to say, having a strong core is especially important for athletes. It’s the central group of muscles found in your abdomen, which allows you to be physically strong. However, not everyone knows how to activate this muscle group. Sometimes in lifting weights for instance, you might be using your back muscles instead. This compromises the back because it absorbs most of the impact of the activity.
NBA player LeBron James has been very open about how yoga has helped him on his athletic journey. He even went so far as to say it helped solve his back problems. Aerial yoga can help in relieving this tension further through gravity. Cure Joy points out that gravity strengthens your bones, which is great for preventing osteoporosis.
Simply put, properly engaging and exercising the core can help protect your back. This could mean less back pain and similar problems, which may be due to mistakes in form or execution during workouts. Aerial yoga may be low-impact on joints, but it certainly packs a punch to your core.
Improved mental agility for focus and better mood
Aerial yoga automatically triggers alertness, because it’s not natural for anyone to be suspended in the air. This makes you focus on your surroundings more. The adrenaline rush does wonders to your brain’s mental agility, heightening your awareness and attention during class. In some ways, you could call aerial yoga a fun moving meditation.
Health Fitness Revolution explains that aerial yoga can help rebuild your emotional system by clearing the mind and relieving stress. This is all thanks to the meditative state the exercises puts you in, not to mention the fun it can bring. It can help lower stress levels and boost your mood, perfect for moments when you’re preparing for a big sports match.
British tennis player Johanna Konta reportedly uses yoga to help her meditate. Konta was identified by Coral as one of the top female athletes in the world, and she’s frequently facing the pressure of large scale tournaments. It’s a serious challenge that athletes undergo, so it’s important to engage in activities that can help lower stress. This is where aerial yoga can contribute substantially. A sound mind equates to continuity in terms of performance, especially in pursuits like tennis which require intensive focus.
Of course, that doesn’t just spell good news for yourself, as it’s better for team sports as well. You’ll be able to concentrate on strategies and give your best performance in every game.
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