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It is necessary to remember that sports and gymnastics belong to the scope of Physical Education. In fact, the expression Physical Education originally means “education through the body”. Both Yoga and Physical Education in their origin use the body as a tool for developing attitudes and abilities that are important to achieve physical and mental health. Nowadays they can be considered complementary subjects. While the West developed the aerobic conditioning and the sports training and focused on its relationship with good heath, the East pursued the same goals through concentration and relaxation.
Yoga works on strength, flexibility, balance, agility, endurance, core, and overall strength, among other things. Any athlete could benefit hugely by adding yoga to her or his training regimen.
Many international football clubs, American footballers and rugby, golf & cricket clubs in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the US, the UK, have used this centuries-old practice from India as a progressive training technique for some time. Yoga is both preventive and therapeutic and has shown to offer both physical and mental benefits to the body and mind. Yoga is distinctly different from other kinds of exercise as it generates motion without causing strain and imbalances in the body.
Therefore the practice is an ideal complement to other forms of exercise and an extreme advantage to any sport. The “postures” are the physical positions that coordinate breath with movement and we hold these positions to stretch and strengthen different parts of the body. They systematically work all the major muscle groups, including the back, neck, and shoulders, deep abdominals, hip and buttock muscles and even ankles, feet, wrists and hands. Although most poses are non-aerobic in nature, they do in fact send oxygen to the cells in the body by way of conscious deep breathing and sustained stretching & contraction of different muscle groups.
Yoga can help to check any imbalance in muscular development and will enable the body to function more efficiently. If the body is flexible and supple, it will be less prone to sports injuries as the joints will be kept lubricated. “When the surface of a lake is still, one can see to the bottom very clearly” this is impossible when the surface is agitated by waves. In the same way, when the mind is still we can control mental agitation by focusing on perfect concentration.
Objectives of Yoga in Sports
Health, physical fitness and emotional stability are the objectives which bring yoga and physical education on a common platform for the benefit of the human individual. Health is a more general and comprehensive term conveying the ‘feeling of well-being’, while physical fitness is a more specific term. Physical fitness is the capacity of an individual to perform a given task at a particular time. Health and physical fitness are not static. They are always changing they follow the law can be maintained only by carefully selected physical activities which are called ‘exercise’. The utility of the particular exercise program can be evaluated only in the forms of the effects that one obtained in promoting a particular factor of physical fitness.