Vinay P Menon is a wellness consultant and mind strategist who works with Chelsea’s first team. He helps players with mental recovery.
Chelsea were not favourites heading into the UEFA Champions League final held in Porto on Saturday night. However, the Blues outclassed the fancied Manchester City tactically, physically and mentally to win their second European crown at Estadio do Dragao, home of FC Porto.
A fair share of credit for their victory must go to the Malayali yoga trainer for helping the players remain in top physical and mental condition. Vinay hails from Cherai in Ernakulam district, who guided Thomas Tuchel’s men to activate their inner energies and brought out the best in them.
An alumnus of the physical education department of Christ College, Irinjalakuda, the 47-year-old is the wellness consultant and mind strategist of Chelsea’s senior side.
From Cherai to Stamford Bridge
As a child, Vinay was not much interested in football as he was more inclined towards judo. He was a champion judoka during his school days. Later, he obtained a degree in physical education from Christ College and received his M Phil degree in Sports Psychology from Calicut University. Thereafter, Vinay joined the Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research at the Pondicherry University. It proved to be a turning point in his career.
The course equipped Vinay with therapeutic skills in yoga and helped him land a job at Ananda In The Himalayas, a luxury spa resort located in the spiritual land of Rishikesh. That job let him rub elbows with the rich and famous and opened up new vistas of opportunities in Dubai and London. While working in Dubai, he befriended Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club, and got a chance to teach yoga to his family. Impressed with his yoga skills, Abramovich offered him a job at the London-based club.
It was in 2008 that Vinay moved to London and started working with the Blues as their wellness consultant and mind strategist. For the last 12 seasons, Vinay has been one of the key members of Chelsea’s backroom staff who works in tandem with the head coach in ensuring that the players are at their peak going into each and every game.
Vinay’s grandfather Sreedhara Menon is an acclaimed yoga guru. His wife Flomni is also a yoga instructor and wellness expert. The couple have sa son, Abhay Menon. In the past, former Chelsea stars like Didier Drogba, Eden Hazard and John Terry had talked about their experience of working under Vinay and shared pictures from yoga training sessions through their social media accounts.