Yoga Helps High-Performance Athletes

by | Jan 30, 2015 | Sports

Ally Morin focuses on her inner balance and strength with yoga, a practice some athletes say is great supplemental training. (Photo by Jessica Reyes)

By Jessica Reyes

Alex Gibbs uses yoga to tune his focus.

The varsity volleyball player for the Humber Hawks was excited when he found out the team would be taking yoga classes.  He said he knew how beneficial it could be for high performance athletes.

Gibbs admits how challenging and different the body movements were, but he noticed the benefits right away.

“It’s not just stretching, it teaches you a mind set and techniques to help and relax yourself. It keeps you mentally engaged and prepared for high intensity situations like in games,” Gibbs said.

Elaine Cerro, yoga instructor at Humber’s North and Lakeshore campuses, teaches all levels of therapy yoga to students and athletes.

Yoga started off as a form of meditation and is now a popular way to relieve stress and to improve muscle strength, she said. Yoga has helped students reduce anxiety, sleep and study better, said Cerro.

Wayne Wilkins, head coach of men’s volleyball team, agrees yoga has been beneficial for the team. He recommends all athletes of any sport to use yoga as a form of therapy before and after games.

Cerro said it’s becoming more acceptable among athletes.

“It’s no longer being thought as, sort of, a feminine way to exercise,” Cerro said.

The demand for yoga at the college has increased throughout the years as it enhances strength and flexibility for Humber athletes.

Crystal Pole-Langdon, program support officer for fitness and health at Humber, said yoga and weight training have many similarities. Both physical activities help strengthen muscle and correct posture to prevent injuries.