Germany takes a chill pill with the help of a yoga instructor

“To my knowledge, I was the only yoga teacher working with a national team at the World Cup in Brazil,” Munich-based yoga teacher Patrick Broome said.

Broome is part of Germany’s backroom staff for major tournaments and puts die Mannschaft’s stars through exercises to relax them physically and mentally.

Former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs, who was still playing at 40, says yoga helped extend his career. Germany head coach Joachim Löw is also a fan of the ancient Indian discipline.

Now the likes of Germany’s Thomas Müller, Lukas Podolski and Mats Hummels are no strangers to yoga postures such as lotus, warrior and cobra.

“He’s been part of the team since [the 2014 World Cup in] Brazil and he offers courses every day,” said veteran Germany forward Podolski at their Euro 2016 base in Evian.


“We can decide for ourselves to take advantage or not. It’s not on the training plan that we have to go, but he does a good job.”

Broome has accompanied Germany to World Cups and European championships over the past decade, but became part of the official coaching staff only two years ago. He offers sessions to help the footballers “improve flexibility, concentration and performance on the field”, which in turn helps keep them free of injury.

Broome holds daily sessions of up to 45 minutes to keep the players supple and help recover after games. Only three of the squad regularly decline to take part.

“Good recovery after a game is essential for the players to maintain their level of performance,” says Broome, who is in his 40s and has been practising yoga for 20 years.

It was Löw’s predecessor, California-based Jurgen Klinsmann, the coach from 2004 until the 2006 World Cup, who first invited Broome into the German camp.

Klinsmann saw the benefits of yoga while living on the west coast of the United States.

Loew then took it a step further by adding Broome, who has worked with pop icons Madonna and Sting in New York, to his backroom staff for Euro 2008.

Broome, who has two yoga studios in Munich, says Löw showed “courage” in adding yoga sessions to Germany’s training sessions 10 years ago.

“At the time, the German press made fun of the players when they were training with rubber bands, to increase their muscle strength, and yoga with ‘all this nonsense’,” said Broome with a smile.

At the players’ request, Broome accompanied Germany to the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Through breathing techniques and holding postures, Germany’s stars “can let off steam quickly” after a match, said Broome.

“It also allows them to stretch and to experience a different physical experience,” he added.

Broome, who is now a leading figure on Germany’s yoga scene, puts the players through a “stripped-down version” of yoga, shorn of incense sticks or other Far Eastern paraphernalia.

“With the players, I am much less into the spiritual side of the practice,” he admits.

Mario Götze, whose goal won the 2014 World Cup final, is a firm yoga convert and Broome says the spiritual side of yoga helps balance the day-to-day pressures on the players.

In our society of “ever faster, ever more efficient”, yoga is also a powerful remedy for stress management, he added. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Yannick Pasquet
Yannick Pasquet works from Berlin. Journaliste AFP à Berlin. Il est beaucoup question d'Allemagne, d'immigration et de réfugiés, pas mal de Grèce. Auteure Le Mur dans les têtes (Ed. du Moment) Yannick Pasquet has over 5610 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

Pandemic hobbles learners’ futures

South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12

More top stories

Zuma, Zondo play the waiting game

The former president says he will talk once the courts have ruled, but the head of the state capture inquiry appears resigned to letting the clock run out as the commission's deadline nears

Disinformation harms health and democracy

Conspiracy theorists abuse emotive topics to suck the air out of legitimate debate and further their own sinister agendas

Uganda: ‘I have never seen this much tear-gas in an...

Counting was slow across Uganda as a result of the internet shutdown, which affected some of the biometric machines used to validate voter registrations.

No way out for Thales in arms deal case, court...

The arms manufacturer has argued that there was no evidence to show that it was aware of hundreds of indirect payments to Jacob Zuma, but the court was not convinced.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…