Us Yogis are an active group. In fact, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study Conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance “37% of practitioners participate in other group exercises compared to just 9% of the general population”. We’re also active in other sports such as cycling, weightlifting, and running.
And chances are that regardless of your age, gender, or experience with yoga, you’re a pretty adventurous person who is always up for trying new things – at least once. In fact, the practice of yoga gives you a mental and physical edge over other complete noobs in just about every other sport.
Here are some sports that are complementary to yoga you may want to give a try:
Rock climbing is more than just sheer physical, upper body strength. To be a climber, you have to have a certain mental strength – particularly in being able to visualize yourself climbing the route, reaching that hard to get hold, and figuring out the best way to get through the “problem”.
It also requires flexibility, strength, and stamina….all things you’re likely to have acquired or will acquire in your practice of yoga. Flexibility will help when you have to hook your heel to a hold above your hips, and your strength will help you push up from that hold and into the next move.
Talk to any surfer and they’ll tell you that having great balance is vital to improving as a surfer. And chances are that they’re not just talking about balance in the physical sense.
Surfers often feel a deeper sense of balance with the earth and the ocean. Sure….it may sound a little new-agey but paddle out on a clear morning while the sun is rising over the water and you won’t be able to help but feel a sense of joy and wholeness. Many yoga practitioners feel this way as well when they get into a flow or practice in a beautiful place.
Plus, your flexibility, balance, and increased core strength will help you improve faster as a surfer than other non-yoga practitioners.
Body control, body control, body control. And body awareness. And being in the moment.
Dance is one of those sports where being able to embrace the moment and go with the flow feels so good and looks good. That is – unless you’re like us and a terrible dancer – but regardless you can still have fun and let go. Yoga helps you calm your mind, let go of any self-conscious feelings you’ve been housing, and just move and breathe.
Similar to dance, martial arts requires a certain body awareness and presence of mind. At times, you’ll have to go with your intuition and just let your training and experience take you where it wants to go.
If you’re a hardcore yogi – the idea of fighting goes directly against Ahimsa (the practice of non-violence) so you may want to consider a martial arts discipline thats a little light on the “martial” part and heavier on the “arts” part – such as Tai Chi, Judo, or Aikido.
These four sports are just starting recommendations and are obviously not the only options out there that you may excel at. Give one or two of them a try. If you’re not willing to branch out too far from yoga, you can always mix it up with some SUP (stand-up paddleboard) yoga or pilates. But no matter what you decide to try out, we know you’re gonna rock it!