Kamala Nellen, professional performance enhancement specialist in the Greater Los Angeles, CA area, says athletes can get into the Performance Zone using tools from yoga.
A professional baseball player asked me, “Without undertaking a whole yoga program, are there two or three exercises a day for 15 minutes I could do that would keep me more agile?”
First, thank you for your question. There are many ways you the elite baseball player can use yoga to increase your ability to sustain peak performance. What I love about yoga is that it is a means to connect the body and the mind and bring both into readiness for champion performance.
When you are an elite baseball player, where going from stasis to stellar performance in the flash of an instant is crucial, you can benefit by being able to access an unfettered state of being. Using tools from the science of yoga in the right way, at the right time, is invaluable for peak performance.
I want to start with this practice because as you balance the body and mind, you will be more agile in the field!
Exercise: Harness your breath to release fatigue and tension. Do this practice with your body in a stable, comfortable position; sit with support behind your back or lie on your back. Close your eyes or relax your gaze. Breathe in deeply through the nose. Let your exhalation be slow and controlled. Do this several times until you have a long, slow, comfortable rhythm going. Now, when you exhale slowly, focus into any area of your body or mind where you are feeling tension or stress, whether a tight band of muscles, lactic acid buildup, nerves firing, or mental chatter. Continue as long as you need until you feel that particular area softening. When you feel your body/mind reaching a state of equilibrium, let the breath return to normal and your focus to stay diffused. Staying still for a few minutes after the exercise allows the experience to settle into your being. Give yourself a little time after this exercise before hitting the track.
Which brings me to another point: Pause when you are done with any practice. Then you can shift your focus and be able to send it where you want it next.
Wishing you a no-hitter!
Kamala Nellen. Coaching for Champions LLC. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.