EXCLUSIVE: Grandmaster Akshar on best Yoga practices for athletes to remain fit and agile

To help athletes with high levels of stress and pressure in competitive games, grandmaster Akshar has crafted a list of meditative practices that are great to bring balance, calmness and focus to the mind of athletes.
Yoga for athletes EXCLUSIVE: Grandmaster Akshar on best Yoga practices for athletes to remain fit and agile
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Competitive games require extreme levels of concentration and determination. This high level of focus and competition can take a heavy toll on the mental and emotional health of the athlete. Athletes engage in full-body cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, running, jumping or more. 

Their movements involve all the major muscle groups of the human body. Athletes test their physical prowess in a multitude of ways and this requires an immense amount of strength, stamina, endurance, agility and flexibility.

Athletes invest years of dedicated training which involve intense workouts and complete focus towards their goals. Yoga and its varied techniques can be used to help harness the power of athletes to aid them in achieving their athletic goals. 

Participating in competitive sports puts many physical and mental demands on the players that they need to fulfil. Aside from the development of the torso and muscles of the limbs which can be fine-tuned through the practice of various asanas. Yoga can also help in achieving greater Lung capacity through the powerful practice of Pranayama.

Here are a few yoga poses and asanas that athletes or sport professionals can help practice to channel calmness and build stamina. 

Chaturanga Dandasana

Begin in plank pose.

Exhale as you lower your body slowly into half a push-up.

Keep the upper arms parallel to the floor.

Elbows must touch the sides of your ribs.

Keep your shoulders drawn in.

Wrists and elbows must be perpendicular to the floor and shoulders in line with your body.

Hold the asana for 10-15 seconds.

Chakrasana

Lie on your back.

Fold your legs placing your feet flat on the floor.

Bend your arms at the elbows with your palms. 

Rotate your arms at the shoulders and place your palms on the floor on either side beside your head.

Inhale and lift up your pelvis as you straighten your arms.

Relax your neck and allow your head to fall gently behind.

Padahasthasana

Begin in Samasthithi.

Exhale and fold forward with your upper body.

Drop your head and keep your shoulders and neck relaxed.

Try to bring the trunk closer to the legs.

Place palms on either side of feet.

Try to keep the legs and knees straight throughout the practice.

Hold this asana for a while.

Paschimottanasana - Seated forward bend

Begin in Dandasana where your legs are stretched out forward.

Keep your knees slightly bent if needed.

Lift your arms up and keep your spine upright.

Exhale and bend forward.

Try to grip your toes with your fingers.

Hold the posture for 10 seconds.

Dhanurasana

Begin on your stomach.

Bend your knees and hold your ankles with your palms.

Lift your legs and arms as high as you can.

Look up and hold the posture for a while.

Also Read:  EXCLUSIVE: Esha Deol urges people to take up Yoga for mental health in the fight against Coronavirus