Every athlete—whether you’re a basketball player or an archer —has the ability to enhance your performance by practicing yoga consistently. By not practicing yoga you are competing at a disadvantage and missing out on performing at your highest possible level.
I have been involved in competitive athletics my whole life. I was playing semi-professional basketball with the Wilmington-Sea Dawgs when one day my sister drug me to a yoga class with her. I fell in love with yoga my first class and have been reaping the benefits of yoga with a consistent practice ever since then.
The regular practice of Yoga will increase your flexibility; holistically strengthen the body as a unit; confer balance; prevent injuries; and train you mentally to stay present. The physical practice (yoga asana) and breath exercises (pranayama), and yoga’s approach to philosophy will teach you how to integrate the body, breath, and the mind to better serve in the toughest of situations on or off the basketball court. Yoga will not only make you a better basketball player on the court it will make you better person off the court. If you don’t believe me ask NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “I believe that yoga is one of the reasons that I was able to play as long and healthy as I did,” Abdul-Jabbar says.”Yoga is somewhat hard to quantify in terms of benefits because you see them in all the injuries you don’t get.”
Here are my TOP 3 poses for Basketball Players:
Warrior 3 ( Virhabadrasana C): This challenging one legged balance pose requires flexibility in the outer hip while building strength in the core and the legs. The stabilizing muscles and tendons of the standing leg are being developed decreasing your risk on injury.
1 foot bridge pose (eka pada setu bhandasana): Many athletes will have weak gluteus medius muscles and as a result tend to fall into valgus collapse during athletic movement which leads to ACL tears and other knee issues. The outer hip muscles play such an important role in stabilizing the knee joint to help prevent injuries.
Hero’s Pose (Virasana) toes tucked/untucked: This posture stretches the quadriceps, keeps nice flexion in the knees and opens the ankles, which prevents injuries caused by sudden stops & quick cuts. Ankles are an integral part of your base if they are inflexible you are very vulnerable to injury. Opening the ankles can help with quickness by giving you more power to push off giving you those extra few inches to block a shot or get a rebound.
I teach Yoga for Athletes Class on Monday’s at 7:30 if you are interested in tapping into your full potential as an athlete.
Take a look at my schedule on Mondays!