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Yoga for Athletes

Yoga Useless for Athletes?

A recent column in the California Bay Area newspaper, Palo Alto Daily News, opposes the idea that yoga is beneficial for competitive athletes. The column, written by Dr. Phil Wagner, the director of SPARTA Performing Science (an athletic training facility...

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A recent column in the California Bay Area newspaper, Palo Alto Daily News, opposes the idea that yoga is beneficial for competitive athletes. The column, written by Dr. Phil Wagner, the director of SPARTA Performing Science (an athletic training facility in Menlo Park, Calif.), suggests yoga could even hinder an athlete’s performance.

“Yoga poses challenge the participant to hold a stationary position, requiring what’s called isometric (static) strength,” writes Wagner. “This essentially trains an individual’s slow twitch muscle fibers, which are responsible for slow, controlled movements. Whenever possible, athletes should train their fast twitch muscle fibers, responsible for ballistic or explosive movements (like the type found in competitive sports).”

I’m no star athlete, but based on the many stories I’ve read and heard about athletes and yoga, I respectfully disagree.

What do you think?