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Yoga Poses for Poker Players That You Should Try

December 27, 2019 274 0
Yoga Poses for Poker Players That You Should Try

Yoga is a form of a meditative exercise that has tons of benefits, and this includes making you better at poker. In Malaysia, yoga and gambling have many similarities. One of them is that they are two activities that Muslims cannot participate in. The multi-ethnic country’s top Islamic body banned Muslims from ever practising the art of yoga, saying that it has elements of Hinduism that could easily corrupt Muslims. While there are no exact numbers of how many Muslims are practising yoga, it is not hard to see that many Malaysians are warming up to yoga.

For poker players, yoga is more than just religion. It is about mindfulness and how it tremendously helps them amp up their poker strategy and performance.

Yoga Poses for Poker Players To Increase Concentration

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

The yoga pose for balance and posture requires intense concentration to achieve stability.

The Pose:

  • Do a Mountain Pose, with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Look for your Drishti by fixing your gaze on one steady point on the floor.
  • Draw your hands towards your hips. You can also bring your palms together at the level of the heart.
  • Inhale as you lift your right foot from the floor.
  • Exhale as you externally rotate your hip to bring your knee and toes outward.
  • Inhale again as you bring your foot to press into your inner thigh. Make sure that you do this away from the knee joint.
  • Bring your hands toward the sky.
  • Hold the position for five deep breaths. Then, switch to the opposite side.

To Modify:

  • Find a wall or level surface where you can hold to make it easier for you to balance.
  • You can put your toes on the floor with your heel pressing into your ankle, instead of pressing the foot into your thigh. You can also push your foot into your left calf.

To Intensify:

  • Maintain your Drishti or shift your stare upward. You can also try to close your eyes to challenge your balance.
  • You can also try to rise onto the ball of your standing foot.

Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Another yoga pose that would challenge your balance and concentration is the Eagle Pose. This particular yoga lets you twist your whole body, requiring you to focus on the present moment.

The Pose:

  • Begin with the Mountain Pose, with your feet touching each other. You can also choose to have your feet about a hip-distance apart.
  • Again, find your Drishti.
  • Put your hands to your hips.
  • Bend your left knee as you lift your right leg up and over, crossing at the knees and at the calf and ankle.
  • Bring your hips to the ground.
  • Move your arms outward, spreading it like wings and cross your right elbow under your left elbow, allowing your palms to touch.
  • Hold for five deep breaths before switching to the other side.

To Modify:

  • Find a wall or level surface where you can hold to make it easier for you to balance.
  • Instead of double-twisting your foot on your calf, you can let your toes touch the mat to serve as a kickstand.
  • If you find it challenging to bring your palms together, you can maintain the crossing of the elbows and bring your hands toward the opposite shoulders.

To Intensify:

  • You can try sinking your hips lower to bring it into a low squat.
  • You may also bring it towards a Sleeping Eagle Pose by curving your back and bringing your elbows to your knees.

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

This particular pose allows you to develop your focus and concentration as you maintain your stability by standing on one leg with a torso parallel to the ground. Remember that in this pose, should your mind start to wander, you could quickly lose your balance.

The Pose:

  • Begin with a Mountain Pose. You can have your feet touching each other or at hip-distance apart.
  • Look for your Drishti by maintaining your gaze on a steady point.
  • You can bring your hands to your hips or draw your palms together at the heart level.
  • Begin to lift your left knee at the hip level. Make sure to engage your core muscles. Then, bring your left foot out, using your hips as your pivot to move your torso forward.
  • Achieve the final pose by extending your arms out in front.
  • Hold for five deep breaths before switching sides.

To Modify:

  • Find a wall or level surface where you can hold to make it easier for you to balance.
  • Rather than extending your arms freely in front of you, you can rest them on yoga blocks. You can also maintain them at the level of your heart or spread them out like wings to maintain balance.

To Intensify:

  • To challenge your balance, you may choose to do the pose with your eyes closed.
  • You may also intensify by approaching a reverse prayer pose with hands behind your back.

Yoga Poses for Poker Players To Improve Endurance

Chair Pose (Utakasana)

The Chair Pose can help poker players maintain their endurance when they need to sit long hours, especially during tournaments, by building the strength of the ankles, shoulders, and glutes.

The Pose:

  • Start by Mountain Pose by having your feet on hip-distance apart.
  • Inhale as you bring your hands overhead.
  • Exhale as you bend your knees and bring your pelvis down, mimicking a sitting position.
  • Make sure to put the weight into the heels, with your core engaged and your shoulders relaxed the whole time.
  • You may maintain your hands at the heart center, overhead, forwards, or parallel to the ground with palms facing down.
  • Hold the position for five deep breaths.

Boat Pose (Navasana)

To last in a tournament, make sure that you have a healthy body. Achieve a strong deep core, spine, and hip flexors.

The Pose:

  • Lie your body flat on the floor, with your arms to the side. Maintain normal breathing.
  • Once ready, inhale and bring both legs off of the mat. Make sure that your knees are straight.
  • Use your chest as you bring your upper body off the mat and bring your arms towards the sky.
  • Keep your core engaged and spine straight.
  • Maintain the pose for 20 to 30 seconds to build your core strength.

Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Poker can be stressful. When you are stressed, your strategy and endurance on the table can suffer significantly. This pose is great for reclaiming your center. Aside from strengthening your calves, knees, and hamstrings, it can also help relieve tension in the neck, spine, and back. The Uttanasa is one of the perfect yoga poses for poker players. 

The Pose:

  • Start by standing straight. Inhale as you bring your arms over your head. Exhale and hinge your hips to bend your body forward. Make sure you allow your head to hang freely between your arms.
  • If you have a tight hamstring, maintain your knees bent. Rest your torso over your thighs while holding the opposite elbows. You can also use yoga blocks to rest your hands on.
  • In both variations, maintain the upper body relaxed and heavy to create a deeper opening of the back body.

Yoga Poses for a Better Poker Game

Here are some of the benefits of yoga poses for poker players:

  • Achieve a calm and balanced body and mind
  • Increased mobility of body tissues
  • Improved flexibility and joint durability
  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Deep relaxation through mindfulness
  • Enhanced blood circulation
  • Yoga and Mindfulness


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