Body, Mind, Spirit: Athletes' Secret Weapon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry Joy Clower   
Monday, 08 March 2010 01:19

Body, Mind, Spirit: Athletes' Secret Weapon
From running to playing soccer, people's physical limits only can take them so far. Our newest columnist let's you in on the secret behind many athletes' abilities.

Editor's Note: "Body, Mind, Spirit" is
Cincy Chic's newest column. This bi-weekly column will cover ways in which you can stay healthy in these three areas of your life — body, mind and spirit. To submit topic ideas, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Despite yoga's booming popularity, many misconceptions still surround the practice. Yoga magazines show thin, beautiful women in extreme yoga poses, and it's easy to assume that this encompasses all of what yoga is. But it doesn't.


The posture's look does not define yoga. It is the body awareness and self-expression from the inside that makes a body's pose equal yoga. So yoga is a practice that can fit young children or the elderly, depending on the style, level and approach. And the practice can improve the health and happiness of everyone from people confined to a wheelchair to elite athletes.


Hatha Yoga incorporates poses, breathing and meditation. So by helping to make the body-mind-spirit connection, yoga truly makes for an athlete's secret weapon. Anybody can spend hours at the gym, but when it comes to the mental game an athlete needs to overcome to succeed, bicep curls and crunches just don't cut it.


Some forms of yoga can surprise first-timers with how challenging of a workout it can be in its own right. It's a great complement to any sport, as it increases energy, strength, toning and flexibility.


Yoga also can relieve stress, aid in injury prevention and provide a quick recovery time for athletes in training. The stress-reduction key is conscious, deep breathing, which is essential to create a calmer, more peaceful state of mind. The beauty is that anyone can practice better breathing anytime, anywhere!


Pain relief often brings people to yoga. Year after year for more than 10 years, I have observed people coming to yoga for help with back pain, and students consistently report significant or complete relief. Those who can't practice yoga regularly because of pain still can find healing with yoga therapy, which involves gentle, therapeutic movements.


A few tips on finding a style, teacher and class to best suit you:


1) Try different styles and teachers.


Find a teacher whose personality and approach suits your needs. Talk with instructors about their credentials and philosophy of instruction.


2) Start at the beginning.


If you are new to yoga, start in a beginner class even if you are very fit. This way you will build a strong foundation in the basics.


3) Yoga is for every body!


There are many options to suit various needs. It simply requires a little openness, curiosity and willingness to go experience it for yourself. But no matter your size, shape or condition, you can benefit from this athletes' secret weapon.

Sherry Joy Clower -

Sherry Joy Clower is Cincy Chic's "Body, Mind, Spirit" columnist. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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