You may have heard Superbowl XLIII this Sunday pits the Arizona Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Steelers (no? don’t worry, to be sure we had to look it up!) But did you know both sides have yogis on their team??
We mentioned way back in September about yoga making baby steps into the Pittsburgh Steelers’ training regimen. At that time the coach measured about 30 percent of the players getting involved and actually enjoying it, with another 30 percent giving it a try, albeit some begrudgingly. Maybe more have indulged since then?
So who are these yogi Steelers up against?
Chike Okeafor, defense for the Cardinals, is described as an “eccentric” with his less than conventional methods of training and preparing for game day – no not all the players wear a copper medallion to ward off chaotic energy. Okeafor also engages in game-time meditation and yoga during stretches. Awesome! None of the other players seem to join in, but no one judges or complains either.
In addition, Okeafor is trained by Kung Fu Master Eric Oram, who states,
“Literally, the transfer of energy shattered his wrist brace,” Oram said. “He had learned how to deflect energy and use energy, to not fight force on force. He’s using his whole body and the ground collectively to maximize the physics, to bring it all together and, ultimately, to maximize his power.”
Whoa. Working together Okeafor and Oram shaved off 1 second from the time it takes Okeafor to reach the quarterback. This guy is serious.
We don’t have a favorite at the moment, as we tend to be of the commercial-watching social-spectator ilk, but knowing both teams have experienced yoga in one way or another will make it all the more interesting to yogadorks like us. We smell a “take a drink when you see yoga at the superbowl” game in the works!
More Yoga in Football!