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Yoga sessions hit right chord
- Sachin Tendulkar opts for extra 30 minutes of one-on-one with expert

Bangalore: For 33 probables, the daily hour-long yoga session ends at 8.00 am. For the 34th, one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, that signals the start of an additional 30 minutes with Dr Subbaramajoys Narsipur Omkar. That extra effort is typical.

[Incidentally, while the selectors picked 36 probables, Mumbai’s Sairaj Bahutule and Ramesh Powar haven’t turned up.]

As for Dr Omkar, otherwise a senior scientific officer with a government agency, this is his third exposure to Team India and the fringe players. Going by the cricketers’ body language, he is a popular figure in Phase I of the pre-season conditioning camp.

The 42-year-old Dr Omkar first worked with the players during the summer of 2001 camp. He was also invited before the third Test against England, here, later that year. “That yoga has a place in cricket has been confirmed by the physio (Andrew Leipus), who intends incorporating some of the stretching exercises in his own routine,” he told The Telegraph.

According to Dr Omkar, he has been emphasising on “core stability through core muscles.” Asked whether he had an exclusive programme for Sachin, he replied: “It wouldn’t be correct to say I have a special set of exercises. But, yes, the approach is more intensive because he has opted for a one-on-one as well...”

Sachin himself is quite happy and though he had a back problem in 1999 — which almost triggered a national ‘crisis’ — he reminded that the half-hour session remained “general” in nature. Speaking after Tuesday’s one-on-one, he added: “In the past, too, I’ve found Dr Omkar helpful...”

Introduced to cricket by chief selector (and KSCA secretary) Brijesh Patel, over a decade ago, Dr Omkar has been working with the Karnataka Ranji squad for some years and, in the not too distant past, also interacted with P.T.Usha and Limba Ram.

Understandably, Dr Omkar has been emphasising on breathing exercises to relax the mind and, thereby, enhance concentration. “In any case, because of the focussed postures, relaxation and concentration are built-in...Indeed, there is also a routine to improve the vision,” he pointed out.

As continuity makes the biggest difference, Dr Omkar is keen that the probables continue with the exercises even after August 26, when the fitness-specific Phase I ends. If invited, he will spare time for the cricket-intensive Phase II, again in Bangalore, from September 1-6.

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