Kings XI Punjab, who played their maiden IPL final on Sunday, were the team to beat this season.
Always an underdog before IPL7, Preity Zinta’s side stole everyone’s hearts with their sizzling performances. While the presence of star players helped, what caught the eye was that the side played with a selfbelief, especially against bigger outfits, which was hitherto lacking. That self-belief was instilled due to a `winning mantra’ introduced to them by Mumbai-based yoga guru, Eknath alias Amit Kumar, before the tournament.
Eknath imparts teachings of the ‘Satyanand yoga,’ also known as the `Bihar School of Yoga. ‘The Bihar School of Yoga,’located in Munger, is the first deemed Yoga University in the world. Sportspersons practising yoga, which came into existence thousands of years back, isn’t a unique thing. It helps them improve their powers of concentration and reduce stress. In India, star golfer Arjun Atwal and the national team’s archers have practised `Satyanand yoga,’ over the years. “It inspired me to teach the cricketers about it,” Eknath told TOI on Sunday . “I am thankful that coach Sanjay Bangar and the players liked the sessions,” he said.
The yoga guru gave the players `winning mantras,’ while practising meditation, which they had to recite thrice a day. “I had interest in yoga, but didn’t know much about ‘Yoga Nidra.’ I didn’t know that if you keep a sankalp (purpose), it never fails,“ said Bangar.
Eknath also received positive feedback from Sehwag. “He said that he ignored yoga when he came into the Indian team, but, at 35, he had found that it helps you improve fitness.”