Yoga’s for life – not just for spa-cial occasions
Right, be honest now. What sort of words first spring to mind when someone says “footballer” these days? Money, fancy lifestyle, skill, penalty, WAGs, referee – perhaps even that stalwart topic of popular football debate, the “offside rule”? These ones, certainly. And possibly a few others that we’re too polite to mention on this forum!
Admittedly, one word that’s not so likely to feature in the above list is “yoga”…Yet recently a yoga fitness DVD was launched – and not by Jane Fonda, Madonna, or any of the all-too-familiar celebrity candidates. The face gazing out at us from the front of this DVD is none other than that of middle-aged darling of Man United, Ryan Giggs.
Giggsy first attracted media attention back in the early 90s, when the floppy-haired heart-throb’s football career began to take off. Since then, he has notched up a playing record that must be the envy of even the bold and dashing David Beckham. Today, at 37, Giggs can still show a turn of speed that will outpace lads half his age.
So what is the secret of this phenomenal, long-serving footballer’s incredible fitness record?
Well, according to ultra-supple Ryan Giggs himself, yoga – combined with Pilates and conditioning work – has played an important role over the years in preventing many of the niggles and more serious injuries that have a habit of plaguing professional sportsmen of his age – and, in some cases, a good deal younger.
Yoga is often misinterpreted by those not in the know as being a rather non-physical type of exercise. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Those who practise it seriously – whether at a health spa, gym, village hall or in front of their own hearth, will readily testify that it requires an immense amount of physical control.
Improved strength, a healthy spine and increased general flexibility are just a few of the proven benefits of yoga, which these days takes many shapes and forms. Yoqua – which is effectively yoga in the water – is just one of these alternatives, and is rapidly gaining in popularity.
If, after taking a sneaky peek at Ryan Giggs’ graceful athleticism and well-honed physique next time he’s on the TV, you’re tempted to sample the benefits of yoga or Pilates for yourself, a spa day or weekend break offers an ideal opportunity to do so in the most luxurious of locations.
And while you’re there, of course, there will be ample opportunity to pamper yourself a little (or a lot!) as you try out a few of the myriad fabulous beauty treatments available in the modern-day spa environment – which is no doubt what makes it popular with so many WAGs.
Talking of football again, just thought of another phrase that might well spring to mind at the mention of the beautiful game. How about “red-faced commentators”…?