When you think about yoga, you might not picture basketball players, hockey players or rowers doing a downward dog, but this isn’t the case at Ridley College. On Thursdays during activity time these Ridley athletes are doing yoga in the exercise room below the Griffith Gym.
It is a regenerative component to their athletic program. Besides, who wouldn’t enjoy an hour of stretching and relaxing breathing exercises after a grueling week of sports, and school stress? Yoga is a great way to clear your head and find inner balance. But this is not the only benefit these athletes may gain; range of motion can increase, which can help in competition. Mr. DeVellis initiated the idea of yoga for athletes and he says one of the most important things the athletes can get out of yoga is the ability to listen to their body, it is an important life lesson, and one that these athletes will hopefully take with them throughout life.
Today, I observed the yoga class and as the minutes went on, more and more exhausting faces could be seen, trying to stretch the hamstrings just a bit more doing the downward facing dog pose.
Not many of our athletes had tried yoga before, and initially they were curious and insecure, but they have embraced it over time and many have indicated how great they feel afterwards. They are more resilient, have better control of their body and mind- and who knows? Maybe, by the end of the season they might be able to turn their body into a human pretzel.
Content contributed by Anna B. ’12