Yoga Poses to Heal Sports Injuries
Have you been injured or dealt with old sports injuries? Read about how yoga balance poses can fix your body and improve overall health.
Did you know that one in seven American adults practice yoga? That number has continued to rise over the years and will likely only continue to do so.
Yoga is an excellent practice to boost both your mental and physical health. In fact, a few of the most commonly cited benefits received include lower stress, improved sleep, and improved overall health.
With that in mind, it's not surprising that yoga can offer athletes and those physically active numerous advantages as well.
But what are those advantages? And which balance yoga poses can also help to combat sports injuries? If you're looking for answers to these questions, you're in the right place!
Keep reading to learn the benefits of yoga for physically active adults and a few poses that can aid your athletic pursuits.
Sports Injuries and Yoga
With an average of 8.6 million people suffering a sports injury every year, if you're physically active, odds are you're going to be injured at some point. While this means it's completely normal to get hurt every now and then, there are things you can do to prevent it.
Giving yourself a break, for example, is a great way to give your body a rest and therefore prevent over-exhaustion that can lead to injury. Be sure to give yourself at least one day off a week. It may seem counterproductive, but it will do your body good!
Drinking plenty of water and using good techniques are also important, but the most effective way to prevent sports injuries and to heal them, should they occur, is to improve flexibility through stretching. Which is exactly what yoga does best!
Yoga Improves Mental And Physical Health
If you're feeling achy after a workout, don't reach for the pain medication right away. Sadly, the overuse of painkillers is all too common with athletes. So pull out your yoga mat and do some stretches instead!
Now, if this is a serious or recurring issue, consult your physician to find the root of the problem and a route to healing. But for minor aches and pains, yoga should do the trick. Do your own research to learn more about yoga therapy and see the results for yourself!
Yoga is great for speeding up recovery time between workouts, boosting your range of motion, even increasing your concentration! This is because yoga isn't as simple as stretching. It's an exercise that puts your body through all ranges of motion, requiring the use of muscles that may not get the attention they need otherwise.
On top of helping you to heal physically, yoga is an exceptional tool for increasing mental health. Especially if your injury is preventing you from being as active as you'd like to be, you're probably not in the best place mentally.
Through breathing and concentration, yoga will help to enhance your mindfulness, making it easier to shift gears from frustration or anger to motivation to heal and improve.
Common Sports Injuries And The Balance Yoga Poses That Ease Them
There are a wide variety of sports injuries and methods to heal them, but the following are some of the most common:
Shin splint is the common term for pain in your tibia (shin bone), the medical term is "medial tibial stress syndrome." If you're a runner or a dancer, you're more prone to shin splints.
This is caused by overworking of the muscles, tendons, and bones. And though it usually isn't a serious issue, it can be quite painful.
If you have shin splints, the yoga poses you should include in your routine are:
- Pyramid Pose or Intense Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana)
- Diamond Pose (Vajra asana)
More serious than shin splints, ACL injuries occur from damage to your knee, more specifically, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The most common cause of ACL injuries involves stopping or changing direction too quickly during sports or landing improperly after jumping.
To relieve the symptoms of ACL injuries, try these poses:
- Child's Post (Balasana)
- Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)
Groin Strain/Pulled Groin Muscle
A groin strain refers to any injury or tears to the adductor muscles located in your inner thigh. These aren't a cause for major concern, but depending on the severity of the strain, it can take longer than you may think to heal.
Like ACL injuries, pulled groin muscles are most often the result of sudden movements. Kicking with improper form or changing direction while running or jumping can lead to a groin strain.
If you're suffering from a groin strain, these poses will help your body heal:
- Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
- Head to Knee Pose or Bend to Knee Pose (Janu Sirasana)
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Your rotator cuff is located in your upper arm. It's a group of muscles and tendons that attach your arm to your shoulder, to be exact, and is therefore quite important. This injury is common in baseball and tennis players, or anyone who performs repeated overhead motions.
The symptoms of a rotator cuff injury vary depending on the severity. For example, you may notice a dull ache from time to time, but it can be as serious as requiring joint replacement.
This means that some rotator cuff injuries are simply too severe for yoga to aid, but as long as your injury doesn't require surgery, these poses should help to relieve your symptoms:
- Plank Pose (Phalankasana)
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Practice Yoga To Improve Athletic Ability
Well, there you have it! Now you know a few of the balance yoga poses and what they can do to help your workouts, as well as the specific benefits that yoga can offer.
Yoga is a wonderful tool to help your body heal after a sports injury. And if you suffer from chronic stress or simply aren't feeling your best mentally due to your injury, yoga can also soothe your mind.
It's important to consult your doctor before implementing any new physical activity into your routine, and this is even truer if you've fallen victim to injury. But as long as your doctor gives the okay for the type of yoga you have in mind, you should be good to go!
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