Rajkumar Bharali
1.0 Yoga and Sports in brief
Yoga is a mental, physical as well as spiritual process which leads to health and happiness. Yoga is an ancient practice which originated in India. The word “Yoga” came from Sanskrit word “Yuj”; which means “to combine” or “to unite”. Following this concept, the actual meaning of yoga is to join two or more objects and make those in one single unit. In the philosophy of yoga three things are considered for the survival on earth viz. mind, body and soul. Regarding the combination or union of those three vital elements of life, the word “Yoga” is formed. Hence, yoga is the union of mind, body and soul. Asanas, pranayamas, dhyanas, kriyas and mudras are some of the practices of yoga that help people achieve health & well-being.

Sport is a formal, rule-oriented and organized activity which needs physical movement and skill, where an individual or team competes against each other. Sport is recognized as a form of physical, mental and spiritual embodiment. Sport is meant for everyone to involve in physical activities and by doing so, they would be good in fitness as well as understand the importance of physical activities in life.

2.0 Correlation between Yoga and Sports
Yoga is such kind of practice which makes a sportsperson perform better. Many elite athletes consider yoga session as one of the activities of their training regime. Well, in this discussion, it’s being tried to highlight the significance of yoga in sports. Yoga has many areas to perform. It’s a complete scientific procedure which has some ways to practice. It needs practice with strict diet plan as well as optimum rest. Once these things are maintained, any sportsperson can do better in respective game or sports.

In every sport, athletes do vigorous training to improve the performance. After any strenuous training session, meditation can be performed which recovers the mind from fatigue and stress. Research has proved that three days of meditation practice during the time of competition training positively enhances the performance. Injury is a part and parcel of sports. Sometime, injuries become life threatening. There are some asanas which can be utilized as therapeutic measures to heal an athlete from injury. Some sports practitioners have postural deformity due to accidents or poor habits. These postural problems are treated by recommending yogic practices. These are certain asanas which are good for improving posture. Yoga follows a herbal and strict diet plan which is very necessary to enhance the sports performance by an athlete. Yoga performer eats healthy and basically focuses on vegetarian meals. These foods contain a high amount of nutrients which can strengthen the muscles and the brain. Yoga is concerned about the spiritual aspects of life. To succeed in sport, an athlete needs to be spiritually healthy for which he/she would achieve the dream. In yoga, some mantras are there which are chanted repeatedly and they give the knowledge of the power of human spirit for which the athlete can progress. Yoga can extend the life span also. In schools and colleges, sometime, pranayama is taught. By doing pranayamas, people can have good respiratory system and it extends the life. Students become good in doing pranayamas and can improve the cardio-respiratory endurance which is very much needed in sports. As a sportsperson, a person should be clean from the internal body which reduces gastric, ulcer, indigestion, headache, migraine and asthma. There are kriyas in yoga which are the cleansing processes that help clean the internal organs and make a sound functioning of organs.

Yoga is a competitive sport in different levels. People are practicing day by day and taking yoga in a competitive way. Many athletes demonstrate yoga performance in international arena. Students of Physical Education and Sports Science are projecting researches on yoga to bring out some new health facts of yoga to heal the society from health problems. Sports performers are doing degree, certificate or diploma courses in yoga and establishing themselves as renowned yoga experts or trainers.  

3.0 Conclusion
Hence, a brief discussion about the application of yoga in sports has been done. Yoga is always an integral part of games & sports. It is an ancient practice which is affecting modern philosophy. Yoga in grass root level should be taught to every child to make healthy, sharp, disciplined and happy. And this thing can be done through sports. Therefore, the value of yoga is always helpful in sports to make every athlete good human resource.  


About the author: Rajkumar Bharali is serving as Assistant Professor at Centre for Studies in Physical Education and Sports, Dibrugarh University

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