What is the role of Yoga in sports, with specific reference to Asanas, Pranayam and Meditation ?
Role of Yoga in Sports: The prolonged practice of yoga leads the student to a sense of peace with his/her environment. Asanas cater to the needs of every individual according to his physical condition and capacity. Various effects of yoga on individuals are stated below :
- Asana : After yama and niyama, asanas come on third number. Asana means ‘position or posture of body’. It also means to sit in easy posture. Due to its popularity, most of the people think that yoga is nothing but asana. They are not aware that asana is a step towards yoga. In fact, asanas are performed to keep the body flexible, agile and young. Asanas also enhance the beauty of the body by reducing inappropriate accumulation of fat in the body. There are various types of asanas such as corrective asanas, relaxative asanas and meditative asanas. These types of asanas have different types of effects on various organs of body. These asanas activate the functions of various organs.
Asanas can be performed from young age to old age without any problem.
- Pranayama : Pranayama is the control of the process of breathing. It means the appropriate control over inhalation and exhalation. Basically there are three constituents of Pranayama, i.e., Puraka (Inhalation), Kumbhaka (Retaining the breath) and Rechaka (Exhalation). There are various types of Pranayama such as Ujjayi, Suryabhedi, Sheetkari, Sheetali, Bhastrika, Bhramari, Murcha and Plavini. It helps in metabolic activities and enhances the function of heart and lungs. It also provides longevity to life.
- Meditation: The concentration power is very significant in the field of sports. Concentration is required approximately in all games and sports. In fact, endurance, strength and desire to excel lose their meaning if there is no concentration. For example, when a badminton player displays his concentration his gaze is fixed on shuttle and his energy, tactics and skill produce very good results for him. Some asanas like Vqjrasana, Vriksasana, Padmasana and Siddhasana, etc., and pranayama such as Ujjayi, Kapalbhati and Bhastrika, etc., are beneficial for the improvement of concentration power.