From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.
Any discussion of the toughest athletes in the world must include New Zealandâ€™s world champion rugby team. The 2011 Rugby World Cup winners intimidate their competition before dominating them on the field. How do they stay on top? Hours of practice, a grueling weight lifting routine andâ€¦yoga?
Thatâ€™s right folks, yoga isnâ€™t just for girls (and guys attempting to impress them).Â The rugby team, known around the world as the â€śAll Blacks,â€ťÂ is just one example of professional athletes turning to yoga in order to improve their performance on the field.
LeBron James, an NBA MVP,Â does yoga. So does Baltimore Ravens all-pro linebacker Ray Lewis and Super Bowl champion Victor Cruz of the New York Giants. The entire Liverpool soccer team practiced yoga during their preseason fitness routine.
Yoga is the perfect cross training exercise, and can provide a significant boost to your athletic performance in a number of different ways. Not only does regular practice help improve balance and increase your core strength, but enhanced flexibility can boost speed and prevent pesky muscle strains.
When injuries do occur, many athletes add yoga to their rehabilitation routine since it provides a low impact opportunity to maintain strength and cardio stamina.Â Other athletes may simply appreciate the opportunity to just close their eyes, breathe deep and relax.
Local Yoga Studios
Ready for yoga to take your game to the next level? Start your training at one of these local Borderstan studios:
- Tranquil Space on 17thÂ Street NW offers unlimited yoga for your first month for $50.
- Flow Yoga Center on P Street Street NW, with many options for classes. First month $45.
- Yoga District has locations in Dupont Circle and on 14thÂ Street NW and offers new students a two-class one-week pass for only $10.
- The Studio DC has locations in Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan and offers newcomers two weeks of unlimited yoga for $20.
- Crank up the heat.Â Bikram Yoga Dupont offers one week of unlimited yoga for $20.
- Boundless Yoga Studio on 13thÂ and U Streets NW is offering new students a terrific holiday deal. Buy a 10 class pass for $100, and if you go to class twice a week for five consecutive weeks youâ€™ll get your money back in full.