And now the latest in Yoga in Sports, aka Yoga isn’t Wussy, aka Yoga is for Everyone News:
Heard rumors about yoga in the NFL? It’s true! And it’s not girly, nor wussy, nor somehow demasculinizing. Maybe some of us knew that already, but for the rest of us it can’t hurt to be reminded, over and over and over…
“If I hadn’t done yoga, I’d be out of the league by now,” — former Giants superstar Amani Toomer to ESPN in 2009.
After a hamstring injury (from lifting weights!) in 2004, Amani Toomer found yoga to help with strength PLUS flexibility and range of motion, a few handy things for an NFL wide receiver, or you know, a regular person doing regular things like walking and standing upright.
Now retired, the football champ will run the NYC marathon this November, and become the first NFL player to attempt the 26.2 mile trek in 17 years. On his prep-run playlists?
“It’s everything from rock to jazz to hip hop. I have some yoga chants and that’s pretty good too. Slows down the breathing.”
So if you’re running the race and see Amani passing by, you can bet he’s got a good stream of consciousness and a “Rocky Theme”/Krishna Das mashup pacing through his mind. (and you can let him pass – he’s running for charity!).
The fact that the least likely characters – brawny, manly football players – are taking on yoga just further demonstrates that we can ALL benefit from the practice, right? On a beer yoga mat or not!
And because it’s awesome and why not, check out this inspiring video of NY Giants practicing yoga as a team. It may be more adorable than yogi bears! Er, we mean, it’s totally masculine and macho, etc.
Dudes, make fun all you want, just do it.