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Bobcat balancing act
The long anticipated Quinnipiac Men’s Ice Hockey season has finally kicked off. From weight training to double sessions, the team has trained every aspect of their game. However, one particular conditioning tactic could make all the difference for the Bobcats.
For the first time in the program’s history, the Bobcats used yoga, an exercise that focuses on body and spirit, to help prepare for the brutal body checks and bashing that will occur on the ice.
Tami Reilly, assistant athletic director for the fitness and wellness center, helped train the players in everything from stretching and balancing to breathing and meditating.
“I have been suggesting for four years that the team take yoga and this year I finally got them to do it,” she said.
The players quickly learned how intense the workout is.
“Originally I was hesitant about taking yoga because you always hear about older people doing it and I didn’t think I’d relate,” Junior defenseman Andrew Meyer said. “I knew it was based on stretching and relaxation and I thought it was going to be boring. One thing I overlooked is that it’s an actual workout, not just a nice and easy stretch.”
Reilly said the team would benefit from the classes because of the emphasis on balance and use of the hips, two essential parts in hockey.
“Not only did I find out about muscles I’ve never used before but I also found it hard to hold some of the positions,” Meyer says. “I learned very quickly that I wasn’t as flexible as I thought I was.”
As their ideas of the workout being ‘girlie’ or for the elderly slowly transformed, the Ice Hockey Team slowly began to realize the benefits of the peaceful workout.
“They we’re dripping in sweat, which they didn’t expect,” Reilly said. “I think they were pleasantly surprised at how much they liked it. Some were even surprised by how challenging it was.”
“The most surprising thing about yoga is the difficulty involved in doing the exercises correctly.”
The Bobcats training was reflected in a 3-0 win over the Bentley Falcons in the season opener .
“I feel our team will benefit because yoga makes you more flexible and also strengthens your core which are two things that are important in the sport of hockey,” Meyer said.