• Germany's news in English
Euro 2016
How the German national team reach their Zen state
Toni Kroos (L) and Joshua Kimmich during training. Photo: DPA

How the German national team reach their Zen state

AFP · 16 Jun 2016, 10:30

Published: 16 Jun 2016 10:30 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"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 told AFP.

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 like '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."

Three yoga refuseniks

Broome has accompanied Germany to World Cups and European championships over the last decade, but officially became part of the 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.

Patrick Broome: DPA

"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 twenty 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 USA.

Löw 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" to add yoga sessions to Germany's training sessions ten 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.

Story continues below…

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," added Broome.

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 practise," 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.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd