Irish Yoga for GAA Players and Athletes
Irish Yoga continues to grow and grow, in part due to the huge benefits it can bring but also due to the many expert yoga instructors we have.
Intersport Elverys is fortunate to have our own expert Irish yoga instructor, Roberta Harrington, who has already given some great tips and classes on our platforms.
In this blog, Roberta takes you through some myths, tips & tricks, plus all the advantages for yoga for footballers, GAA players and athletes.
Irish Yoga Myths
“People always think they are to inflexible for yoga and I always laugh at this because if you’re poor at a particular skill in GAA, then the first thing you do is practice it.
“So if you’re practicing your shooting at first, it can be slow to improve. Equally so with your mobility. But once you practice and give it some time, you will see massive improvement and your body will actually crave it.”
Is Yoga Beneficial to Weight Loss?
“Pending on your fitness and body type, it differs from individual to individual.
“But certainly the more rigorous styles of yoga, such as Vinyasa or power yoga, is a very dynamic type of yoga where you will work on strength-based postures and challenge yourself mentally and physically.
“They may not be suitable for beginners, but certainly for weight loss, to get a good sweat on, or just to tone up and strengthen your core, power yoga is the answer.
“And it burns a lot of calories while also working on that range of motion and flexibility.”
Benefits of Irish Yoga to GAA Players and Footballers
“Yoga can be absolutely incredible when it comes to working towards injury prevention – it’s very proactive in that sense.
“With GAA and other sports, you see a lot of reoccurring injuries, like hamstring tears, ACL injuries and shoulder issues, and with yoga, we learn to adapt in any given situation by increasing or lengthening the muscles within the body.
“So with GAA, you’re doing a lot of the same motions over and over again but when your body is taken out of that position, the potential for injury increases. Yoga is amazing for exposing your body to those positions and getting it used to it.
“You see huge build up in quads and hamstrings with GAA players and other footballers, but sometimes there can be imbalances in glutes or knees and yoga is amazing for these.”
Yoga for Mental Health
“Yoga is also fantastic for concentration, mental focus and clarity, which works wonders on the GAA pitch.
“For game days, simple breathing techniques that you learn in class can really help to ground you and become that little bit more present for the match.”
Is yoga becoming more popular in Ireland with GAA players?
“I see a huge amount of teams now using yoga in pre-season and I am working with a lot too, which is fantastic to see.
“Once it was woman dominated in our classes, now you see a lot of GAA players, rugby players, soccer players, who find it a great way to complement their training on the pitch or in the gym.
“They often had the idea that yoga is really spiritual and done by lads with dreadlocks, and are pleasantly surprised to see that that is not the case. Yoga is a great humbler for them too, because they might think they are really strong or flexible, but one class of yoga shows they are not!
“So my advice is to start basic, don’t feel like you can go straight into an advanced class, find your feet and start to progress from there.”
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