At the core of our physical training programs for pitchers and hitters is Yoga. Yoga is a 4000 year old art form that is designed to bring a persons body, mind and essence into "union" or harmony. Through various challenging poses or asanas (stretches), Yoga provides a number of physical benefits, including flexibility, balance, strength, endurance and improved respiration. Mental benefits include confidence, concentration, discipline, patience, clarity and peace of mind.
At the core of Yoga is the role of one's breath. The nature of your breathing patterns has a great deal to do with the quality of your state of mind (i.e. concentration), and ultimately, the quality of your performance. Because the quality of your breath plays such a major role in the stability of your health (i.e. injury prevention, circulation, removal of stress, clarity of mind, energy level), Yoga will enable you to make the connection between physical and mental well being. And it is through this connection that internal trust and confidence can be developed in all areas of sports and life.
Athletes undertake many different aspects of training to keep up with (or get ahead) the demands of today's competitive levels. In addition to mastering the physical skills and techniques of one's particular sport, athletes also have to devote a great deal of time to weight training, nutrition and conditioning. Which leaves little time for the two most important, and often, most neglected areas of their development: Stretching and Mental Training.
This seems odd when you consider that 1) stretching is the single most essential course of action that one can take to avoid unnecessary injuries and to insure the longevity of one's career, and 2) a player's mental approach will ultimately dictate the outcome of his performance.
Rarely do you see athletes putting in the necessary time to address the most fundamental aspect of their body (and as we will see, mind). Not just flexibility in the traditional sense of the word, but flexibility in conjunction with endurance, strength and balance within that flexibility. And it is through focused stretching that one greatly reduces the possibility of minor or major injuries.
Now can you imagine an art form that combines the physical benefits of flexibility, balance and strength and the mental benefits of clarity, discipline and "relaxed" concentration; that will give you an opportunity to identify and understand the strengths and weaknesses of your body and mind; that will incorporate mental and physical principles simultaneously.
Yoga is an ancient art form that is designed to bring into "union" or harmony a persons body, mind and essence. Through various stretches or poses Yoga provides consistent principles that can be assimilated into performance and daily activity. Because a high level of attention will always be demanded of you Yoga enhances your level of concentration, awareness and focus. Through some of the more challenging "poses" or stretches (especially in areas that are tight, tense, weak or dormant), you will learn to attain a higher level of perseverance, determination and trust. This leads to greater mind/body awareness.
At the core of Yoga is the role of one's breath. The nature of your breathing patterns has a great deal to do with the quality of your state of mind (i.e. fluid, relaxed) and ultimately, the quality of your performance. Because the quality of your breath plays such a major role in the stability of your health (i.e. removal of stress, energy level, respiration) Yoga enables you to make the connection between physical and mental well being. And it is through this connection that internal trust and confidence can be developed in all areas of sports and life.
The truth is that most injuries are avoidable. Yet "well conditioned" athletes will miss valuable playing time, or potentially find their careers threatened because they never learned the ramifications of not stretching properly. This is unfortunate when you consider that the majority of injuries are avoidable. Yoga offers you the security to not only avoid avoidable injuries, but provide you with a forum to develop and enhance your mental skills and focus. It is the best of both worlds. As an athlete, whose two fundamental responsibilities are to remain injury free and mentally focused, you have an opportunity to do something about it NOW.