Once considered a specialized practice, yoga is now a popular training activity for among professional athletes. The exercise strengthens and lengthens the body, refining flexibility and posture. It also eases stress in muscles and joints, aiding injury prevention so its no wonder so many top athletes are adding yoga to their training regimens.
The NFL even asserted that yoga is the yin to professional football’s yang. Likening the two, however, shows just how challenging yoga really is.
Whether it’s in between games or in between seasons, many professional athletes practice yoga both with their teams and on their own.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been practicing yoga for years and has continuously praised the practice. He and teammate Deron Williams show off their moves via Richard Jefferson‘s Snapchat.
D-Will and LeBron James are next level with their yoga game.
(Via Richard Jefferson / Snapchat) pic.twitter.com/OTCkrJLGdf
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 10, 2017
With the addition of yoga to the Seattle Seahawks regular fitness routine, the team seeks to raise their players’ abilities to the next level. Quarterback Russell Wilson has embraced the mandate, taking advantage of the practice’s physical and mental benefits.
Though yoga obviously aids active players, it may help retired players even more. Tuning in to the practice allows those who have left the game to not only maintain a level of physical ability, but also to re-center, create a new identity, and find their life’s purpose.
Former NBA player and 15-time All-Star Kevin Garnett has used yoga while playing to control his emotions, but now uses the practice to keep active during retirement.
Former NFL Pro Bowler Keith Mitchell began practicing yoga as rehabilitation for a spinal injury, but discovered much more healing in the practice.
From new players to old players, from physical focus to mental motivation, professional athletes have learned to utilize the benefits of yoga at different stages of their career. The greatest advantage of yoga, however, is its ability to be practiced anywhere by anyone, so there is no excuse not to try this top wellness technique of the pros.