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nib Newcastle Knights players reported for their first yoga session this pre-season at Balance City on Wednesday.

The practice is set to aid the players in their recovery and mental discipline on days that they aren’t out on the field or in the gym.

“The main idea behind doing yoga is to ‘lengthen’ our players out,” Physical Performance Manager Tony Ayoub explained.

“As you can appreciate, most footballers are very tight due to the weights they lift and the constant trauma they experience from the contact.”

While a big reason for the players doing yoga centres around the opportunity to stretch out their bodies, there is also a mental side to it.

“The other idea behind the yoga is to take a weekly session off site, basically for a change of scenery,” Ayoub said.

“It means there’s a different voice delivering messages that we try to get across every week, trying to teach them how to stretch on top of our own techniques at training.”

But the benefits don’t end there, as Ayoub also sees a mental discipline aspect to the sessions.

“I also like the discipline of yoga… not taking short cuts,” he said.

“This hopefully translates into other areas of their work and helps them to become more professional in their overall approach.”

So while the players will be getting pushed to their absolute limits out on the field and in the gym this pre-season, they will also be stretched in the yoga studio.