Thursday, 9 February 2012

Yogic Breathing Exercises For Basketball |

Yogic Breathing Exercises for Basketball Photo Credit basketball image by aline caldwell from

Basketball players are no strangers to yoga techniques. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal have received coaching that includes yogic principles, according to "Yoga Journal." The breathing exercises or pranayama commonly used in yoga may be particularly beneficial in helping you to focus and improve lung capacity during your game. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services quotes research from the University of Indiana that says that breathing exercises improve lung capacity for endurance sports.

Abdominal Breath

Learn abdominal breathing to reduce poor breathing habits such as chest and shallow breathing. According to writer for "Psychology Today" Jim Taylor, Ph.D. deep breathing, such as abdominal breathing, may regulate nerves before, during or after a game. Abdominal breathing is one of the more simple yogic techniques you can learn. The easiest way to try it is on your back on the floor. Imagine that your torso is a balloon that you are filling up when you inhale. When you exhale, pull your belly down toward the floor, squeezing out as much air as possible without straining. Practice for a few minutes, letting your breath become even and deep. This is the basis of most other yogic breathing techniques.

Complete Breath

After you feel comfortable with abdominal breathing, try complete breathing to increase the performance of your diaphragm and lung capacity. Try it in a seated or supine position. Start with a few rounds of abdominal breathing. Next, on an inhale, fill up your belly with air as before, then let it continue to move up through your chest. As you exhale, feel your breath move the opposite way, emptying from your upper chest, then your center and finally, squeezing out with a small contraction of your abdominal muscles. Practice for a few minutes. Many yogis use complete breath throughout their yoga practice. Incorporate this more complete variation of breathing into your game.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Try alternate nostril breathing, also known as channel cleaning breath to clear and calm the mind before a game. According to "Yoga Journal" this exercise can also synchronize the left and right sides of the brain. Hold up your right hand with your palm facing toward you. Fold down your middle and index fingers. Close your left nostril with your ring finger and inhale through your right nostril. Close your right nostril with your thumb and exhale and inhale through your left nostril. Close your left nostril and exhale and inhale through your right. Go back and forth with a complete breath through each nostril for a minute or so. Move your hand and take a few deep breaths as you normally would. You may feel more energized and clear-headed.


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