Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Yoga props all other sports

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As a kid I used to be a crazy cyclist.I could skip for hours.would run like a hare while playing I-spy-you. My school in Chennai,Bains, had a great sports section.I would land up at school before anybody else and take the key from the guard and try everything from the sports shed - hurdles (I would keep increasing the notch to impossible heights and leaping over them like a gazelle only I was a scrawny kid who did not look graceful but awkward:),walk the stilts like a circus clown pro,play volley ball with seniors when they fell short of numbers.I had an immense need for movement,co-ordinated action.I never however got selected for sports cozy was sickly looking kid so always got bypassed during selections:) I was sickly looking kid coz I was always falling sick being a bad eater who avoided non-veg. I realize that the one type of action missing in my childhood was yoga. Yoga would have saved me from the wracking sickness that hounded me most of life and perhaps made me less scrawny looking! Why our schools bypass yoga is a mystery to me. The huge amount of my school life was wasted learning impractical useless faltu things. And if only yoga was there then... Anyways better late than never... Yoga complements everything u do in life ... Below some research on that
Some while ago the University of California decided to test this out. Ten college students were put through an eight-week yoga course. For four days a week they practiced yoga, including its breathing and meditation techniques, for 95 minutes per session. After eight weeks they were checked for the key ingredients which determine health: muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and VO2 which indicates maximum oxygen intake. The students’ muscular strength had upped by 31 per cent, endurance by 57 per cent, flexibility by 188 per cent, VO2 by seven per cent. The latter was a particularly surprising since VO2 normally takes 15 to 20 weeks to react to exercise.

Another study in India proved athletes who practiced pranayama had less lactate levels in their blood (lactate is a metabolic waste that is released during activity). Less blood lactate means less fatigue, better mental co-ordination and faster recovery.

According to Olympic coach Aladar Kogler in his book Yoga for every athlete inclusion of just one or two yogic poses as part of warm-up or cool-down can leap-frog athletic recovery and mental focus. He argues yoga’s compactness makes it a perfect tool to hone specific strengths. He presents a list of benefits that only yoga can confer on the over-taxed body of an athlete or sports enthusiast. These include correction of physical dysbalance that occurs due to lopsided training, sharpening of self-study needed to correct bad techniques and learn new ones. He admits his wards have enjoyed an `extra advantage’ due to the yogic techniques he taught them. While research in this field is still nascent, football clubs recently created an international news flash when they incorporated yoga as part of the training for their tough champions.


Anila said...

Hi Shameem,

I've been lucky to have been trained in indian classical dance and yoga has always been the warm up and cool down and workout for these artforms. even though it was transformed to suit the needs of the teacher- the basis of all these workouts were yoga(which i never realised till I actually started practicing yoga sometime back)..Even the martial art form in kerala,my homeland -"kalaripayattu" relies heavily on Yoga..Almost all the ayurvedic treatments given are accompanied with some form of yoga-be it pranayama or asanas. And one interesting piece that I read stated that our very own 'kushthi' (wrestling) relies heavily on yoga for fitness :-) Yay!

Shameem Akthar said...

Lucky u:) Yes, Kalari is something that I wished I'd learnt-- I love watching the amazing flexibility and suppleness the fighters display. Did u see the film Palazhasiraja... What a display of that art form!!

Anila said...

PazhassiRaja- Yes. I loved the movie!