Podcast 51 - Does yoga improve athletic performance? Google+



Podcast #51 – Yoga and athletic performance

yogaathletesThe Yoga and Movement Research Series

Does Yoga improve athletic performance?

It might, but we don’t know exactly how. Jules Mitchell was researching how yoga affects athletics performance for her upcoming book and discovered a gap in the literature. There’s plenty of research about the SAID principle and adaptation, but not enough about yoga’s impact on sports performance. In this episode we talk about the only two studies that cover this topic as well as their many limitations. Hopefully there will be more studies about this in the future so we can have more clarity.

Jules Mitchell is a Yoga Educator, Biomechanist and contributor to the Yoga and Movement Research Project (YAMResearch.com)

Podcast Highlights:

  • The first study is from the international journal of yoga. From the title you would think that it’s looking at how it improves athletic performance, but it’s not. It’s looking at balance and flexibility.
  • Just because they acquired more range of motion doesn’t mean they can utilize it in their sport
  • If you skim this paper you might walk away thinking that the results tell you that yoga makes them better athletes. In actuality this study tells us that if you practice yoga you get better at yoga.
  • The results from the second study in the Journal of Sports Medicine are limited because there was no control group. There was nothing to compare it to. Was it the yoga that gave them more functional range or was it because they introduced novel movements?
  • Another challenge in this study is that many of the conclusions were subjective and were not actually measured or recorded. For instance, “coaches felt that the athletes were better at disassociating their torso from their pelvis and thus increase the efficiency of their stride.” Neither efficiency nor stride were measured.
  • These 2 studies are not enough to provide a conclusion about the effects of yoga on athletic performance.

More Links:

ACSM’s components of fitness

Todd Hargrove on the SAID Principle

Sign up for reviews about yoga and movement research!

, , ,

2 Responses to Podcast #51 – Yoga and athletic performance

  1. chris April 2, 2017 at 11:24 PM #

    Thought you might find this interesting:


    They claim they are doing science, but there isn’t a citation or reference to the scientific literature anywhere. In my estimation, this an excuse to create a new certification and make more money.

  2. chris April 2, 2017 at 11:27 PM #

    There is a place to send them a message. I would be interested in how they would respond if you asked them for some scientific references, but they would just ignore me. Maybe somebody with credibility, like Jules Mitchel could ask them to for justify their claim of “science”.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes