International Journal of Yoga
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-34
Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes


1 Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics, North-Eastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL 60625, USA
2 Department of Community Health, National University, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
3 Sangam Yoga International, North American Office, Eugene, OR 97404, USA

Correspondence Address:
M Jay Polsgrove
5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.171710

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Background: With clearer evidence of its benefits, coaches, and athletes may better see that yoga has a role in optimizing performance. Aims: To determine the impact of yoga on male college athletes (N = 26). Methods: Over a 10-week period, a yoga group (YG) of athletes (n = 14) took part in biweekly yoga sessions; while a nonyoga group (NYG) of athletes (n = 12) took part in no additional yoga activity. Performance measures were obtained immediately before and after this period. Measurements of flexibility and balance, included: Sit-reach (SR), shoulder flexibility (SF), and stork stand (SS); dynamic measurements consisted of joint angles (JA) measured during the performance of three distinct yoga positions (downward dog [DD]; right foot lunge [RFL]; chair [C]). Results: Significant gains were observed in the YG for flexibility (SR, P = 0.01; SF, P = 0.03), and balance (SS, P = 0.05). No significant differences were observed in the NYG for flexibility and balance. Significantly, greater JA were observed in the YG for: RFL (dorsiflexion, l-ankle; P = 0.04), DD (extension, r-knee, P = 0.04; r-hip; P = 0.01; flexion, r-shoulder; P = 0.01) and C (flexion, r-knee; P = 0.01). Significant JA differences were observed in the NYG for: DD (flexion, r-knee, P = 0.01: r-hip, P = 0.05; r-shoulder, P = 0.03) and C (flexion r-knee, P = 0.01; extension, r-shoulder; P = 0.05). A between group comparison revealed the significant differences for: RFL (l-ankle; P = 0.01), DD (r-knee, P = 0.01; r-hip; P = 0.01), and C (r-shoulder, P = 0.02). Conclusions: Results suggest that a regular yoga practice may increase the flexibility and balance as well as whole body measures of male college athletes and therefore, may enhance athletic performances that require these characteristics.


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