As a practise yoga will improve strength, flexibility, concentration and wellbeing so it is not surprising that it is finding a place in professional sports. However this article also encourages the spiritual dimensions of yoga to be incorporated into
Ray Lewis, famous American football linebacker from Baltimore Ravens, reportedly told the Chicago (USA) media today: “I’m talking about an hour-and-a-half yoga classes at times. And the crazy part about it is, once you actually get into it a good two or three times, you really miss if you don’t do it. It stretches you that much.”
Lewis, first linebacker to win Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award on the winning Super Bowl team, has been reportedly doing yoga in the offseason for the past two to three years.
Yoga reportedly makes a great complement to athletic training and various types of athletes are
incorporating the practice into their training for bettering sports performance by improving flexibility and functional strength, building muscle energy and stamina, preventing sports injuries, dealing with stress, overcoming back pain, improving breathing and focusing, increasing endurance, etc.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, extended invitation to yoga practicing athletes to explore the spiritual dimension of yoga also because actually yoga is a mental and physical discipline by means of which the human-soul (jivatman) unites with universal-soul (parmatman).
Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was one of the six systems of orthodox Hindu philosophy, Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said and urged athletes to take a look at the rest of the five
schools also. According to Patanjali, author of the basic text, the Yoga Sutra, who codified yoga after being founded by Yajanavalkya, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical, Rajan Zed added. Famous athletes whose names have been reportedly associated with yoga practice include Eddie George (football), Al Leiter (baseball), Justin Gimelstob (tennis), David Duval (golf), Barry Zito (baseball), Sean Burke (hockey), Diamond Dallas Page (wrestling), Kevin Garnett (basketball), etc.
Many books and DVDs on the subject have flooded the market, including Teaching Yoga
to Athletes, Yoga for Athletes, The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga, Yoga Conditioning
for Athletes, Real Men Do Yoga, The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga, Extreme Yoga
DVD for the Warrior Athlete, Yoga for Every Athlete—Secrets of an Olympic Coach,
Power Yoga for Athletes, Cross Training with Yoga—Improve your sport with Yoga,
Warrior Yoga - Yoga for the Martial Athlete, Yoga for Firefighters and Athletes,
Unlocking Athletic Power - Power Vinyasa Yoga Live, Flexibility For Athletes
Yoga & Rowing, Yoga for Cyclists, Yoga for the Athlete, The American Yoga
Association’s Yoga for Sports, etc.