Yoga – The Complementary Service

  • Yoga

Emma Lawrence of The Yoga Tree breaks down how yoga practices can help improve your sporting performance

Yoga is suitable for every different body type. It can be started at any age regardless of physical condition, and those who are the stiffest have a lot to gain.

It provides a workout that uses all muscle groups and joints, including the small muscles in the hands and toes, the large muscles of the legs and torso, the superficial muscles - such as the calves and hamstrings - and the deeply layered muscles that are not visible.

Furthermore, all of the body’s systems beyond the muscle groups are worked in yoga, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal, and endocrine systems. Additionally, the internal organs are massaged and oxygenated through yogic breathing and movement in the poses.

As a yoga teacher, it is usual for me to hear ‘yoga isn’t for me, I am a cyclist/runner/horse rider’; consequently, I spend a lot of time telling people the benefits of yoga as a complementary service to whichever other activity is their passion. Here, I’ve listed the ways in which yoga has helped people make the best of the activities they love.


Seasonal yoga teacher Audrey Mason from Take Toux has set up a company specifically to help cyclists become build lean muscle, power up climbing legs and improve mobility, which helps enable cyclists to ride pain and injury-free. As a keen cyclist herself, she realised that her cycling dramatically improved when she incorporated yoga into her training schedule (and not just a little stretch at the end of a ride). As a yoga teacher, she has learnt many simple yet powerful breathing techniques which help endurance, speed, climbing (and even confidence!). See for more information.


Yoga has had such an impact on all of Carina Cole’s life, not least horse riding and horsemanship. Riding requires a strong core, seat and leg to ensure that you do not burden the horse with your weight. You must learn to support yourself, which can be tiring without strength and flexibility. Yoga helped her to build a strong core and leg through postures such as plank, chair and warrior. It is also great for Carina’s flexibility, which is vital for good horsemanship. Likewise, controlled breathing has proved a useful tool. It can be used to calm a nervous horse, her own pre-show nerves - or even to slow a horse’s gait, by taking a deep breath out.


Runners have a tremendous amount to gain from adding yoga to their fitness regimens. Yoga can be a great post-run activity, relieving soreness and tension in hardworking muscles, and restores range of motion, so you can run better the next time you hit the road.

If you are brand-new to yoga, and have been running with tight muscles for a long time, then ease into each position, and never push to the point of pain. As you continue to do this routine, you’ll notice improvement – on and off the mat. Runners are often reluctant to try yoga; their most common fear is that they are not flexible enough.

If you would like to come to yoga to help improve your other sports, please email me.