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Impromptu Yoga Session

Allistair Santiago

yoga-in-the-field.jpgA few years ago, I started organizing a casual pick-up game of soccer every week. No skill necessary – just a bunch of friends kicking a ball around. However, despite an initial deficiency of players, the tradition caught on. It has gotten to the point this year where we can expect a turnout of at least six or seven a side. On really good days we double that. And recently, there’s been a push for a second game per week.

With its popularity on the rise, however, we’ve also seen a considerable amount of injuries this season. Nothing serious – no broken bones or anything – but almost every game there are at least three people who pull or strain a muscle or joint. Granted, we play like uncoordinated idiots and we don’t warm up, but it never used to be this bad.

So recently, there’s been a call for warm-up and stretching, with people starting to do their own routines to limber up. But last week something surreal happened. I arrived late and started jogging lengths of the field…ok, let’s be honest: I was jogging one length of the field. And it wasn’t a length, so to speak, since I decided to go only half-way. But that’s all beside the point.

On my way back, I saw a couple of the girls in our group doing what were obviously yoga stretches in preparation for the game. There was a bit of good-natured laughter as people started noticing, but slowly more people joined the circle. It started with the ones who knew something about yoga. A surprising number, I remember remarking to myself. But soon everyone was trying it. Most joined out of amusement, I figure, but it seemed like everyone was at least trying the poses. It was weird, I have to say.

The impromptu yoga session lasted for about 15 minutes, at which point people started getting antsy to play soccer. But for those 15 minutes, there were a good 16 people spontaneously practicing yoga before a soccer game. And it helped.

Or at least I thought it did.[tags]injuries, soccer, yoga stretches, warm-up, jogging, practicing yoga[/tags]

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