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Dan Pringle - Crystal Palace

26 Yoga Positions....

06/11/09 |

Last week we visited BreezeYoga in Beckenham for the first time. Breeze is literally up the road from the training ground, so we are very lucky to have such a good facility so close to us. At Breeze we took part in Bikram Yoga which was a new experience for us all.

Bikram Yoga consists of performing a set series of 26 yoga poses each of which is performed twice in a 90 minutes class. You do all these poses in a heated studio of about 40°C. When we finished we were sweating buckets and buckets!

After about 15 minutes the nervous laughter soon turned into grunts and squeals as we all started to get into it and realised how hard it is and how focussed you have to be. If any of us went into the studio thinking yoga was for women in their later years trying to regain their figures, we soon found out what it was all about!

Bikram yoga is the reason why top professionals like Ryan Giggs and David Beckham are still going strong and are performing at the top level. It is so beneficial for you and if you have the opportunity to do something to pro-long your career then why not take advantage? But again, it’s not just for older people; young sportsmen like Andy Murray are doing this regularly. Hopefully visiting Breeze will become a regular occurrence as all the lads enjoyed it.

I strongly advise you to YouTube ‘Bikram Yoga’ to see some of the challenging positions we attempted (and I add extra emphasis on that word!) to get into. I actually really enjoyed it though, and I can already feel the benefits after going just once. Football has changed with the times and activities like hot Yoga are now seen as essential ways to get the most out of your bodies. Bikram Yoga strengthens your core and makes you more flexible – things that are very much needed for football. It’s something different and means you are not doing the same things day in day out.

Back on to the football front, I scored my first goal in a long, long time last week in a friendly against Southend United. It was also another 90 minutes under my belt as well which was good for my fitness. The shine was taken off of my goal though as we somehow lost the game. After taking the lead twice we let them back in and consequently lost the game. With all due respect to Southend, we should have seen the game out and won the match.

It was such a frustrating game to play in as we had a lot of good players and loads of quality in our team – but we played as individuals. If you don’t play as a team then you simply won’t win. After putting us 1-0 up I thought more goals would soon follow and we would win the game comfortably. Unfortunately this was not to be, due to a combination of reasons.

Gary Issott made it clear to us that some of the play was not acceptable and we will hopefully learn from the errors made in this game put them right in the future.
We are fortunate enough to have a company called Leading Teams that come to us every fortnight, who are a team of psychologists. They have worked with the Australian cricket team and other sports teams in Australia and England. They say that if 7 out of your 11 players perform to a minimum of seven out of ten, you will win the game. Against Southend, maybe four of us reached that target which just isn’t good enough.

There are a few more friendly games coming up soon which will be good for me to carry on building on my fitness and I will keep you updated through the blog.
Finally thanks for all the positive comments about the blog.