An estimated 300 million people practice yoga around the world, according to CompareCamp. Yoga is an activity that countless people enjoy for its health benefits. As it turns out, it also carries a lot of benefits for athletes across different types of sports, including football, cycling, running, and even swimming. Here are just a few of those benefits.
Flexibility And Recovery For Football Players
It is no secret that football players get injuries. Whiplash or injuries to the spine can lead to more conditions like the Forward Head Posture, which can hamper athletic performance in future games. Thankfully, yoga can help with that, along with targeting stretching exercises like the chin tuck. Football players that regularly practice yoga get to enjoy enhanced flexibility in their joints, which can lead to better performance. This flexibility can also improve recovery times in injuries, and help with muscle soreness, according to Modern Yoga. Beyond flexibility and recovery, yoga also helps with balance and muscle strength — all that is necessary for positive football performance.
Pain Reduction And Stronger Hearts For Runners 
Runners can also experience a range of injuries. Around 50% experience knee pain, and 19.1% feel back pain, according to Healthline. Yoga is something that can help runners address their pain — or at the very least, reduce it. Runners who practice yoga long-term all report significantly reduced pain in problematic areas, according to Holistic Nursing Practice. Other than helping with pain, yoga has been known to help strengthen the hearts of runners. Runners need strong hearts in order to keep running for longer periods. Intense versions of yoga, like Bikram and Vinyasa, can help train the heart to reach higher rates and improve its strength overall. This makes a runner’s heart work better under stress so they can perform better, and longer runs will become easier.
Better Body Movement And Breathing Control For Swimmers
One of the problems that swimmers face is stiffness, and yoga is a proven help when it comes to flexibility. Yoga can help a swimmer to stretch more effectively and efficiently without risking injuries. Practicing yoga regularly also helps swimmers to improve their body movement, as focus and self-awareness promote breathing and coordination. Yoga will require a practitioner to be able to breathe certain ways and hold that breath on command — something that a swimmer needs in order to do more laps. As yoga is a low-impact activity, it helps keep swimmers in their element without having to resort to weights to build muscle and core strength. Another big help that yoga brings to swimmers is relaxation and mindfulness. Taking around 20 to 30 minutes of a yoga flow per day can help regulate emotions and promote visualization of goals and intentions. 
It is clear that yoga has a lot of benefits across different sports and athletic activities. This is why athletes should take advantage of the different advantages they can get from yoga. While yoga may seem daunting with its complicated poses, there are beginner flows that are truly helpful to the uninitiated.