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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August, 2003, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Tendulkar takes up yoga
Sachin Tendulkar practices yoga in Bangalore
Tendulkar has been extending his sessions beyond the required time
Sachin Tendulkar and his India team-mates are learning the ancient art of yoga in an attempt to improve their mental and physical agility.

They are undergoing a 13-day conditioning camp in the southern city of Bangalore, with yoga sessions held by senior scientist of Indian Institute of Science, Dr SN Omkar.

"Yoga is a way of life," said Omkar, who is charged with teaching 36 Indian Test hopefuls.

"It has to do with the way you handle things. If applied to a cricketer it helps him beat stressful conditions on the ground and off the ground.

"It teaches him to keep detached."

At a five-star hotel in India's aviation and technology hub, Omkar gave special attention to batting maestro Tendulkar, who suffered a groin injury two seasons ago.

"They are all happy about it. In fact, Sachin is spending an extra half-an-hour with me," Omkar told the BBC Sport Website.

I would recommend yoga to everyone
Sachin Tendulkar

"Essentially one is looking at core muscles [quadraceps, back muscles and hamstrings].

"It makes players calmer and helps in achieving harmony of the entire body, which is so essential to modern sportsmen."

It evidently did not take long for Tendulkar to be impressed by yoga.

"It is a very good thing to do," he said.

"It can only help and cannot damage anything. So I look at it in a positive way.

"It is the overall mental feel and the feel-good factor helps to relax."

The training camp is overseen by coach John Wright, physio Andrew Leipus and newly appointed South African trainer Gregory King.

Wright said the camp was fitness-specific as well as fun.

Games have been thrown in to strengthen camaraderie and team spirit.

"Camps like these help us a lot. If we train like this, it is not far off when the Indian team will be the fittest side in the world," said off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

The camp, which lasts unti 27 August, will be followed by another devoted to honing cricketing skills from 1-6 September.

India face a busy international schedule with two home Tests against New Zealand in October followed by a triangular one-day series also featuring world champions Australia.

India are also due to tour Australia later this year for four Tests.

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