As an athlete, I have personally experienced the benefits of including yoga in my workout rotation. Here is a list of some of the benefits athletes can gain from practicing yoga.
Improved endurance – yoga has taught me to breathe more fully, which has increased my endurance
Better form – yoga develops core strength, which contributes to a more efficient form when performing other sports and activities
Cultivate muscular strength – in yoga you engage major muscle groups as well as stabilizer muscles that provide support for the joints
Improve flexibility – yoga poses stretch my back, hips, legs, neck and shoulders to help prevent pain and maintain mobility
Develop body awareness – with the focus on connecting breath to movement and bringing your attention into the body in yoga, you may start to notice patterns of movement that cause imbalances in your body
Build a durable, injury-resistant body – by strengthening the muscles and connective tissues through yoga poses, you can improve your ability to recover from a hard workout, and to catch yourself when thrown off-balance
Mind-body connection – cultivating focus in yoga improves your ability to tap into the messages from your body so you can push your edge
My husband, John, is competing in his first half-Ironman race this month, and I am joining him for the Aqua Bike (same swim and bike as the half Ironman, but no run). We both signed up as a way to challenge ourselves to push past what we have done in the past. One of my favorite quotes is “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Signing up for this race is my effort to push myself beyond my comfort zone. I have been a triathlete for 11 years, but have always competed in Sprint and Olympic distance races, so this will be my longest swim in a race at 1.2 miles (1,900 meters) and bike ride of 56-miles.
As part of the Firefly community, I invite you to join us in this challenge by completing a full Ironman over the month: 2.4 miles (3.86 km) of swimming, 112 miles (180.25 km) of biking and 26.2 miles (42.20 km) of running. Complete these distances over the entire month (rather than all at once). Track your progress with whatever tool or app works best for you. I use a Fitbit to track my activity.
Share photos from your workouts on Social Media with #IMchallenge and tag Firefly (Twitter @fireflyretreats or Instagram @fireflycommunity). Let us know how you are doing and watch for updates from Firefly.