At first glance, football and yoga look as if they’re from different worlds. But whilst it’s true that one is fast-paced and adrenaline fuelled and the other tends to be slow and deliberate, more football players than ever are integrating yoga into their training program. So, it begs the question, why?
The answer becomes clear when you delve beneath the surface. Yoga is about building strength and flexibility especially in the legs and hips, not to mention that it’s a great tool for focus and relaxation. Exactly all the things that football players need help with!
Yoga for Footballers
For a footballer, being flexible means that you’re able to switch direction more quickly, an imperative skill for any player worth their salt. The problem is that joints like ankles and hips are also easily injured so anything that helps to improve flexibility and prevent injury is going to be of benefit.
Something else to consider is that footballers have traditionally used resistance and cardio training methods, spending hours at the gym, pounding the treadmill and lifting barbells. Nowadays, we’re all a lot savvier about making the time we exercise count though.
Footballers, like everyone else, are being more scientific about their daily training. Whilst yoga won’t make you strong overnight, it works to improve posture and core strength. Specifically, it uses your own bodyweight to build up that strength, meaning it complements other forms of strength training. By regularly practicing yoga, you can handle squats and deadlifts even better. And it increases stamina, vital when you’ve got to run the length of a football pitch for 90 minutes. But yoga is more than that. It’s yoga for sport, yoga to help sporting injury and yoga for focus and discipline too.
From a mental health point of view, yoga is grounding, calming, focuses on the present moment and educates the participant on how to slow the breath. These are all highly effective techniques for managing the stress, anxiety, and nerves pre- and post-match, winding down from the adrenaline of playing a match and of course, for dealing with the pain of injuries as well as the mid -match stitch. Mindset is the thing that sets the top performing footballers apart from the rest and the positivity, motivation and mental clarity that come with practicing yoga cannot be underestimated.
Yogi Bare Partnership with Liverpool Football Club
We couldn’t be more delighted to announce an exciting new collaboration with Liverpool Football Club. After all, if you’re going to join forces with a Premiership football club, why not choose the best one? Okay we’re just jesting of course. We know how serious some of you take your football, but on another note, we were knocked out by the incredible work that’s carried out by the Liverpool Football Club Foundation.
That’s why we’ve decided to kick-start our contribution towards this amazing charity with the launch of the ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone Liverpool Football Club Yoga Mat’. We’ll be donating £10 from the sale of every one of these mats to the Liverpool Football Club foundation to continue their work supporting those most in need within the wider community.
This high-performance yoga mat features extreme surface performance grip and a non-slip natural rubber base. Even better, it has a laser-cut Liverpool FC logo proudly engraved in the centre alongside key alignment points to help you balance and position yourself correctly for yoga, stretching or body weight exercises.
It’s the ultimate non-slip mat, the perfect complement to exercise for any LFC fan, footballer, athlete, yoga devotee, meditator or simply for anyone that takes regular exercise. By standing on one of these, you’ll be standing up for something too. Community.
What is the Liverpool Football Club Foundation?
A few words on why the team at Yogi Bare were so keen to align with the truly fabulous Liverpool Football Club Foundation, the official charity of Liverpool Football Club. Their mission is simple. To improve the lives of others.
How they do that is by working in areas of high need and significant deprivation across the Liverpool City Region and across the country. Over the years, they’ve delivered a variety of community initiatives like Premier League Kicks, the Premier League’s flagship community program which uses the power of football and sport to inspire youngsters in some of the most deprived areas of England and Wales.
Premier League Kicks Girls continues the important job of bringing equality to the beautiful game, by engaging young women in football and raising awareness of the female game as well as Premier League Kicks Inclusion which provides free sporting activities for those with learning, behavioural, physical, and sensory needs across Merseyside.
There’s also Go Play, a project that works to create free public parks and open spaces with the aim of getting children and their families to be more active as well as countless other community projects. All in all, this is a wonderful charitable organisation that continues to help thousands of people get active, get inspired and most importantly get belief.
If you liked this article, we think you’ll enjoy ‘What Does Yoga Mat Thickness Mean?’