What is that kooky yoda, yogurt crap anyway? Isn’t that for hippies and girls? Thank goodness Kent Katich is here to dispel such myths! Yoga guru to the NBA and baby daddy to Marie Constance (George Lopez Show), Kent Katich is taking yoga to the hoops. And don’t worry dudes, the b-ballers have NOT turned into pansies!
Today on ESPN.com, Katich gets his own players profile, running down the stats and numbers, like a) he started bringing yoga to the NBA in 1988, b) he’s worked with 25% of NBA players, hoping to get to the remaining 75% c) he probably makes a gazillion dollars from his Yoga Court (at UCLA) and yogahoops.com franchise (that last part is just an educated guesstimate). Yep Kent Katich is another yogapreneur hopeful, taking on the dreadful image that yoga practice is for fairies and prudes. Nope, this manly yoga is done is in sneakers! And no sanskrit bi-otch!
“People probably think of a yoga instructor, and they think of somebody like Gandhi or somebody like that,” Clippers forward Craig Smith said.
Katich certainly breaks that mold. He strives to.
That’s why visitors to his Westwood studio are far more likely to walk into the “Yoga Court” and hear Tupac blasting from the speakers than new age goddess Enya. His Yogaletics DVDs were shot in a gym as opposed to next to the ocean. There are no spandex tights. No chanting. No discussion of finding your inner chi. Oh, and no Sanskrit.
“Players don’t want to hear tree-ay-muka-ukah-maka-pasana,” Katich said (or something that sounded like that). “They just want to hear, ‘Bend forward, touch your toes.'”
“The yoga community,” Katich said, pausing as he searched for the right words, “I say this with kindness and respect, but the yoga community can be a little … weird. They don’t really understand athletes so much.”
Take that back!
Disclaimer: you may find this snarktastic, but in reality we’re over the ardha chandrasana about more sports athletes and “dudes” getting into a regular yoga practice. Go team! But seriously, get over the ‘yogis are little girls in pink tutus’ already!
Earlier…NBA Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Announces He Has Cancer, Stays Positive With Yoga
Santa Cruz High School ‘Glee’-fully Adds Non-Wussy Yoga to Curriculum
LeBron James: Basketball’s Yoga LeBrogi FTW!
I teach a for-credit Yoga PE course at a local university. It’s become mighty popular over the last 10 or so years, filling up within 20 minutes of registration opening (2 sections, each meeting twice/week for 2 or 3 hours each depending on whether the semester is 4 or 6 weeks long). I kick their asanas, starting slowly with lots of modifications and building up to half or full Primary Series Ashtanga. I begin with English descriptions but introduce them to the Sankskrit as we go and we cover the 8 limbs of Patanjali as well, with real-world applications.
It’s incredibly effective, and I wish it could become part of every academic curriculum. Yoga, along with a return to eating real (non-processed) food is the cure for many ailments…..
I love to see programs which bring yoga to athletes on their terms. Once they see the physical benefits they may be ready to accept the mental, spiritual and emotional ones more readily.
When I teach in schools I find teen athletes are often very skeptical of yoga until they try it and find out how challenging it really is. I love kicking the school jock’s ass in Warrior or Chataranga when teaching Sun Salutations. They realise quickly they are not be the strongest, smoothest, and most definitely the most flexible athlete in the room. Some give up and say its “only for girls” or “this is weird” while other rise to the challenge and begin to see how it can benefit them in their chosen sport.
I have had the same experience with athletes. Some of them love it and others find it too hard ….. on their egos!! tee hee.
I also agree that they start with the physical benefits and then realize the mental, spiritual and emotional ones. That happened to me when I first took it up!!!
I’m always pleased that the practice of Yoga is becoming more accessible and accepted, whether the group is children or athletes, road crews or executives.
For all teachers of all subjects it is important not to sacrifice the truth of the teacher for the truth of the student. Otherwise the power of the practice degrades over time until it can muster only a whimper of effect.
Why is it that Gregorian monks sing in Latin (rather than English) and no one seems to think that weird. However the language interwoven into Yoga’s very DNA has to be separated out in order for it to be “okay”? Further, to call Sanskrit “uh language” may be one of the grossest understatements of our time. This is not to say that English isn’t used and isn’t important. The context is critical for no sound teacher wants to overwhelm beginning students. My point is that the language and the practice BOTH convey something to the student.
As yoga teachers we must consider very carefully the way(s) in which we hold yoga, what that means over time, and how it serves the student NOT the teacher.