U.S.News & World Report—February 9, 2009
Can strengthen your core. "Core strength" is a buzz-phrase in pretty much every sport; the idea is that strengthening the muscles in your back, midsection, and butt will give you the stability to improve the power of your movements and reduce injuries. Yoga can do that, says Brian Halpern, a nonsurgical sports medicine physician at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. (Core strength is part of a program designed to reduce injuries in female soccer players.)
Halpern loves yoga for its physical and mental benefits but warns that athletes (and others) need to be careful. That means not assuming that athletic ability in other sports means you can step into an advanced class the first time out, and not aggressively forcing yourself into difficult poses. He says you should be careful of certain poses if you have back or knee problems. (A good instructor will ask newbies about any physical limitations.) "I don't care what kind of yoga you start with, but start slowly," he says. "Don't start off with three or four classes a week as if you've been doing it for 20 years."
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