by Robert Romano
Weightlifting and mile-long runs are the traditional bread and butter of athletic preparation for sports teams. However, many WHS athletes are participating in a new trend in training: yoga
Last Saturday, the girls Junior Varsity Tennis team was truly at peace when it entered Alluem Yoga in Cranford for its first yoga workout taught by History Teacher Ms.Tricia Ann Pizzi. “The class I taught on Saturday was a flow class designed specifically for the tennis team, ” said Pizzi.
According to junior tennis player Mary Rippe, the team worked on hand and headstands and general yoga moves.
“I think that yoga is a great way to train for any sport,” said Rippe.
“Yoga teaches [people] to breathe through their noses...which slows the breath, calms the mind and nervous system, and brings more oxygen into the body,” said Pizzi.
The girls swim team has also incorporated yoga into its practices.
According to senior swimmer Mady Cannone, yoga is an effective way to prepare student athletes “without putting extreme stress on their bodies.”
Yoga was an alternative way for the girls swim team to train and become the State Champions.
Said Cannone, “Without utilizing yoga during our pre-season last year, the 2012 WHS girls swim team probably would not have had such a fantastic and accomplished season.”
Additionally, the girls and boys cross country teams supplement their daily workouts with yoga.
According to girls Cross Country Coach Thom Hornish, members of the girls cross country team have benefitted from yoga by “reducing injuries” and learning to “maximize breathing.”
According to active.com, yoga exercises the muscles in all types of motion and this allows both larger and smaller muscles to be worked at once.
Said senior Boys Cross Country Quad-Captain Michael Reilly: “Any high activity sport needs to be loose. Tight muscles lead to poor performances and sometimes even injury.”
He added, “Since we started doing yoga, our team as a whole has improved, and the times have gotten lower and lower each year.”
Moreover, according to active.com, yoga helps curb anxiety by focusing on breathing patterns, helping athletes stay focused.
Said senior Cross Country Runner Lily Burtness, “Yoga helps... because we learn how to control our breathing...stay focused and improve our mental toughness which is such a big part of distance running.”
So, if you are looking for an innovative way to stay loose for sports, follow the trend and try yoga. It might just be the key to athletic success