Today the emergence of composite sticks has given all the players the ability to deliver greater power. The recent record-breaking speed by firing to 109 miles per hour right into the net by Zdeno Chara is an example of the recent innovation. This was not just possible with advanced gears but sheer practice. The introduction of yoga in their practice schedule has given the players physical benefits and ability to limit injuries. The team has joined hands with renowned names like Pure Yoga, The Life Centre and Tri Yoga to improve the flexibility of the players and prevent injuries. Their training sessions now include yoga props like bolsters, mats etc. sourced from sites like www.yoga-king.com and Yoga Studio. Recently, www.espn.com had lauded the coach for introducing such an innovative type of training, that transforms the individual players into a strong team driven by dedication and motivation.
The team locker room turns into a temporary yoga studio with all the pads and skates stuck to the walls, and the yoga mats decorate the floor. The players quickly arrange themselves in rows and settle in their position.
Here the players are not meditating, so music has become part of the yoga class. According to the team’s goalie, yoga helps players to flex their muscles and prevent injuries during the game. The goalie also feels it is must for the player because flexibility is the key to keeping fit. The coach strives hard to prevent injuries of any type and has found respite in yoga sessions. Though the coach does not believe in meditative yoga, he sure does vouch for the physical benefits.
The yoga instructor for the team connects with the players and works a schedule to suit their needs. The instructor discusses even the most trivial issues like music with the player to make them feel part of the program. The lessons are adjusted according to the needs of the player depending on their fatigue levels. After a hard day’s practice, a light stretch is offered. During busy match schedules, the players are given rigorous workouts.
It seems hard to believe that till a while ago, the last thing on the mind of these players was yoga because the practice, training and conditioning would keep them constantly busy. However, over a period of time, the players have understood the importance of yoga in their day-to-day life and how it can make a difference to their game. Players have developed a cordial relationship with the yoga trainer by sharing their thoughts and even jokes at times. The whole session has turned lighter with the trainer and the trainee understanding the value that Yoga can bring to their game.
Many players find it tough to attempt certain poses especially the camel pose where the yogi has to arch their back touching the back of the feet. The trainer was accommodative giving comfortable poses to players like child pose, pigeon pose and the upward dog pose to make the players feel at home. Yoga has created bond and harmony among the players and helps to uplift the spirit of the game.