Whether they play soccer or racquetball, run track or throw javelins, college athletes tend to be in excellent physical condition due to hours of daily practice. However, this repetitive conditioning entails a risk of strain, injury or exhaustion, something that yoga instruction may be able to mitigate.
Pritha Sharma, a researcher at Lamar University recently tested the effects that yoga had on the ability of college athletes to recover from strenuous exertion.
She found that female students who engaged in four sessions of the mind-body regimen tended to experience better self healing than those who didn't. All participants were members of soccer, volleyball or cross-country running teams.
The volunteers who were given yoga interventions engaged in relaxation techniques, deep breathing and stretching, as well as a number of gentle poses.
These women saw significant decreases in the mental and physical stress levels, indicating that yoga may be able to minimize the negative effects of overtraining in young athletes, Sharma concluded.
Collegians interested in shaking off the tension accumulated during long workouts may consider stepping into a local Dahn Yoga center and asking what classes are currently available.