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Purifying the mind, energising the body

Yoga trainer Harrington even has a remedy for 'Captain Cool'. Firoz Mirza reports. Zen master

india Updated: Apr 17, 2012 02:06 IST
Firoz Mirza
Firoz Mirza
Hindustan Times
Firoz Mirza,Mahendra Singh Dhoni,Delhi daredevils

Practicing yoga to attain mental, physical and spiritual strength is not a cool idea for 'Captain Cool' Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he feels it won't work for him. On the other hand, the seniormost member of the India team, Sachin Tendulkar, is quite receptive to the idea. This is the feedback Delhi Daredevils' yoga trainer James Harrington got during his brief stint with the India team during their South Africa tour in 2010-11.

Delhi Daredevils' yoga trainer James Harrington, who had a brief stint with the India team during their South Africa tour in 2010-11, said Dhoni was not keen on trying stretching when he held a session in South Africa. "Dhoni felt so, and I don't have any problem with it because as an individual he is free to have his choices," said the yoga trainer.

Relieving pain
Harrington however, did a couple of sessions with the Master Blaster in South Africa, concentrating on the pain the batting maestro was feeling in his knees. "He was quite open and friendly. Tendulkar was very receptive but unfortunately he had to leave the tour (after Tests) due to a hamstring injury."

On his experience with cricketers, Harrington said it has been challenging so far as some cricketers are ready to embrace yoga while others have some reservations. "The approach has to be different for each player. I concentrate on correcting body imbalances and working on the weak points of the players."

Back trouble
Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag is also keen on yoga. "Viru is planning some sessions with me to strengthen his back." Harrington has been working closely with DD's pace attack and the effort seems to be paying dividends. "Morne Morkel is finding yoga very useful, especially in making a quick recovery following a rigorous bowling session. Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron are also experiencing the benefits of the yoga sessions."

Retracing path
The South Africa-based yoga trainer has returned to a country where he learnt the nuances of yoga from sadhus in the late eighties and early nineties. To gain more knowledge, he plans to visit the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai when Daredevils play against CSK. After the IPL is over, he is also looking forward to visiting Rishikesh, where he started learning yoga.

First Published: Apr 17, 2012 01:01 IST