Welsh Team Turns to Yoga for Rugby World Cup Glory
In New Zealand, the highly anticipated Rugby World Cup is underway. Twenty teams have been waiting four years for the chance to demonstrate their skills on the pitch and take home the title as the world’s best rugby team.
According to articles on BBC and WalesOnline.co.uk, the Welsh team, known for their brutish hard work and gruff demeanour, “turned to yoga in a bid to boost their quest for World Cup glory.”
Wales hand-picked six players who they thought were more susceptible to injury and not as flexible as other players. They made the yoga portion optional to other players, but ended up turning people away because they could only fit 10 in the room.
Many of these players went from being unable to touch their toes, to placing hands flat on the ground. The conditioning chief commented, “If you think, the ball goes over their head, they have to stretch, they get hit in awkward positions, they have to run and they have to have certain mobility to hit positions in running. The guys were good. They said we’ll give it a go and the feedback was excellent.”
This is not the first instance of professional athletes using yoga to improve their flexibility and strength in their primary sport. Just in the Vancouver area, the Vancouver Canucks are known to use yoga for strength and conditioning and, recently on Vancouver Yoga Review, Taya journaled Milan Lucic’s foray into Bikram’s Yoga Metrotown as part of cross-training.
Two weeks into the Rugby World Cup, Wales has both won and lost a game. Stay tuned to action in New Zealand to see how the yogic preparations pay off for the Welsh!