(Andrzej Burak/Stock Photo) More coaches are turning to a 5,000-year-old art form to help their athletes play their best all season long.
Competitive Athletes Turning to Yoga to Improve Performance
NOVEMBER 08, 2006By Press Release This art form, known as yoga, is designed to bring a person's body, mind and spirit into union. Yoga combines the physical benefits of flexibility, strength, and balance with the mental benefits of clarity, discipline and concentration.Athletes are gradually getting over the misconception that yoga is just meditation. According to Gwen Lawrence, Yoga Instructor to members of the New York Yankees, New York Giants, and New York Red Bulls, "Yoga is not simply sitting around omming all day."While holding the challenging poses of yoga, such as warrior, plank, or bow, the athlete must focus on core control while keeping their muscles in a specific position for an extended period of time. Yoga postures actually translate into similar movements used on the playing field. Practicing these poses just once or twice a week gives players added power and speed, as well as the mental endurance necessary to stay focused throughout the entire game.The positive impact yoga has had on the players Gwen trains is evident in the fact that her classes with professional teams have more than tripled in the past year. "As a baseball player you are always walking that fine line between improving your strength while maintaining flexibility," remarks Brian Cashman, General Manager of the New York Yankees. "Gwen's power yoga workout helps you accomplish both."Why wait until adulthood to reap the benefits of yoga? Along with professional teams, Gwen teaches yoga to high school and college athletes."Each pose has allowed me to feel muscles I never knew I had," remarks Christopher Brown, a catcher on the Pace University baseball team who, along with his teammates, receives yoga instruction from Gwen. "Yoga puts me in a mental state that I use daily on the field to focus my energy and keep me in the right frame of mind to compete." The team's results speak for themselves. Pace University had four players drafted to the major leagues in 2006, and the high school baseball team Gwen trains has made it to the state championships three out of the past four years.To expose more young athletes to the benefits of yoga, Gwen has introduced the Power Yoga for Sports series of home DVDs. Each DVD will provide a yoga workout for a specific sport, including baseball, football, and soccer. The first of these DVDs, Power Yoga for Baseball, is now available and includes a 35-minute workout routine with Gwen, along with a warm-up card and wall poster with photos and instructions for each of the poses taught in the workout."My adult clients often wish they had taken yoga when they were younger," Gwen comments. "This DVD series will give kids the opportunity to begin practicing yoga during their high school and college years so they can achieve lifelong success in their sport."
For more information, visit http://www.poweryogaforbaseball.com