Thursday, February 14, 2013
NFL and Yoga
Many professional football players and NFL teams are incorporating yoga into their training regimen, both in-season and off-season. Yoga has the ability to make NFL athletes better because it incorporates flexibility, balance, and total body strength.
During Yoga, an athlete is able to focus on form, efficiency of body movement and power. Gwen Lawrence, celebrity yoga coach who has worked with the New York Giants for 11 years explains “Think of it this way, you have a bow and arrow, and the bow string is strong and unbreakable, but if it’s too tight, you can only pull it back an inch and the arrow flops down on the ground. But when the string is flexible, you can pull it far back, and the arrow has more power. When joints are open, strong and flexible like this, they can create more power with less effort on the field. That way, they can stay on the field longer and win the game in the end.” http://tinyurl.com/bguem9l
In addition to the obvious physical benefits, yoga also improves concentration and breathing awareness which heightens mental focus and mental endurance. Some of the NFL athletes who use yoga regularly are Kevin Boss, Troy Polamalu, Amani Toomer, and Brian Jennings just to name a few. The New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, and Cincinnati Bengals have embraced the power of yoga. In fact, the Cincinnati Bengals recently made yoga a part of their off-season training program and the Tennessee Titans finished their 2-a-day training camp workouts with 90-minute yoga sessions.
The image of professional football players rolling around on mats as they battle to touch their toes may be both intimidating and hilarious to athletes and armchair quarterbacks; however, yoga’s popularity is increasing every season as athletes reap the rewards on and off the field.