Dubai: The German football team continues to explore innovative things to help raise their level of play, this time by doing yoga with the help of German-American yogi Patrick Broome.

"Attending yoga lessons is not mandatory, it's purely voluntary," Harald Stenger, Director of Communications for the German national team told Gulf News.

"Any player who wants to attend is free to make an appointment with the yoga trainer or he can attend group sessions," he added.

Among its ranks, the German team has players such as Arne Friedrich, Jens Lehmann, Simon Rolfes and Thomas Hitzlsperger attending these sessions on a regular basis.

Broome, a specialist yoga instructor and guru to international pop stars Madonna and Sting, has been working with the German team for the last three years after he was introduced to former coach Jurgen Klinsmann by Oliver Bierhoff.

Klinsmann then asked Broome to work with his players and, after some initial resistance, he has now become accepted as part of the German national team's medical staff.

"We have had the yoga among our players before the start of the 2006 Fifa World Cup, and it is meant to help our players relax and keep their focus because that is what yoga is supposed to do," added the team official.

Coach Joachim Loew too vouched for this ancient practice associated with meditative practices in Buddhism and Hinduism in India. "We have sessions only in the mornings and players are free to attend. Most of them enjoy being there. It's a great idea as I am sure it helps our players," Loew said.