People may think of yoga as an exercise that mostly helps flexibility and muscular strength. However, the benefits of yoga poses can also extend to the internal organs, according to Yahoo! Sports.
"Yoga exercises are great for an athlete to add into his or her exercise routine, and there are a lot of benefits to yoga," according to writer Jeanne Rose.
Washington yoga classes can increase lung capacity and decrease respiratory rate. This can help athletes by regulating body temperature and conditioning their lungs to perform under stress, according to the news source. Furthermore, the heart will not have to work as hard to nourish the body.
Yoga also improves circulation, which is beneficial to the internal organs and joints, due in part to more efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients, Rose said. In addition to better circulation, yoga also "massages" the organs and increases mind-body awareness, which can prevent disease and help an athlete pinpoint physical ailments faster.
As of 2007, 13 million American adults reported practicing yoga within the previous year, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health. The agency is supporting studies on the effects of yoga on arthritis, chronic low back pain and other conditions.