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“Master Blaster”, “Little Master”, “The grandpa of Indian Cricket”!!
Sachin Tendulkar fondly called so many names! He has undoubtedly brought in a lot of accolades to our nation. He has zillions of fans who see him as their role model and wish to become like him.
However, did you know that this God of Indian cricket swears by his Yoga practice for leading a healthy life and to cure him of his injuries?
When Sachin was looking for a cure for his backache, he came across the Yoga Guru BKS Iyengar. When his guru passed away last year, in tribute to him Sachin said ‘I will always be thankful for the wonderful asanas he taught me. Practicing those asanas helped me a lot throughout my career.” With regular yoga practice he has been able to increase his stamina, body flexibility, stability and strength all of which have aided him in his cricketing. He has been able to alleviate all his aches through pranayam and asanas. He agrees with the fact that through regular yogasana, the body works more efficiently and problems like headaches, back pain, stiff hips and digestive disorders can all be cured. Pranayama, the breathing technique has been seen to lower the blood pressure, increase cardiovascular efficiency and aid relaxation.
In a nationwide poll in 2010 COMPLETE Wellbeing magazine, India had voted for Sachin Tendulkar as their role model of health and happiness.
How yoga helps with backpain
Most of us slog under a sedentary 9-5 job that expects us to sit at our desks all through. From the work place, we go home again to get comfortable on a couch and sit in front of another machine, the TV. This is exactly the reason why many of us usually end up complaining about our sore backs.
Back pain occurs usually due to muscle tension. Long hours of sitting causes strain on the lower back. The muscles in the spine are not stretched during normal routine and therefore they become tense. Through yoga, these muscles get their stretch and loosen up. The yoga postures also help lengthen our spine, stretch and strengthen our muscles, and return our back to its proper alignment. Strengthening the core helps in relieving back pain and improving our body posture.
A famous axiom in yoga goes thus “you are only as old as your spine”. If one feels one's spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, that implies they are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, that clearly states one is young. Beginning a yoga practice is what will help the hamstrings get a chance to stretch, and our back gets to contract properly and regain its essential tone.
One of the ways to ease your pain is a simple everyday exercise that comes with bunch of benefits.
- Lie straight on your back on a mat. Bend your legs, and squeeze your knees to your chest.
- While keeping your legs bent and knees together, lower both the knees towards the mat on the left side.
- Hold your knees in place with your left hand and gently twist your upper body to the right.
- Extend your right arm and look right. Stay in this position for 5 to 15 breaths.
- Bring knees and hands back to the center. Similarly repeat on the right side.
- Stretching both sides three times is a definite way to loosen the back muscles whenever you feel tightness in your back.
Regular routine is the key!
Arjun Singh Rana, one of the physiotherapists associated with the Indian cricket team lauded how Sachin never missed a single yoga practice session. He observes that Sachin's deep passion to be fit and fine has enabled him to play so well and keep himself healthy throughout his career. The fact that he took his health as a top priority helped him to recoup from his illness quicker and get back to his fighting self always.
Sachin's Guru, Dr. Iyengar suffered from many diseases during his childhood. He struggled with malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever and malnutrition. But when he met his teacher, he decided to change his life through yoga. He had said “Yoga saved my life. I took it up for my health, and then I took it up as a mission,” . And, with hard work, perseverance and determination he reached the pinnacle of success while also helping thousands of people along the way.
The history maker of the largest followed sport in India believes that good health always follows hard work. Even today, he works towards maintaining it.
Achy joints? Stressed out? Cluttered mind? All these are signs that say: you must give yoga a try… On June 21st, the International Yoga Day gift yourself with Yoga!