Hear ye! Hear ye! It’s basketball and yoga! Together at last, like PowerBars and Gatorade. And churning out headlines like: NBA players love yoga without growing ponytails. Thanks YAHOO! Sports! – extra exclamation ours. Turns out yoga is becoming more acceptable for regular dudes, but it’s still helpful to keep the fluff talk and granola-munchers off the mat. To be fair, we don’t talk about “centered katras” either.
With 100 votes at the time of publish, 83% of voters in the recent YD poll say dudes don’t need special “guy-friendly” yoga. But what if those dudes are beefed up pro athletes (for real, or you know, in their hearts) used to lifting weights, not their pelvic floor? woooboy. Let us turn to the NBA’s Guru Kent Katich, the man who estimates he’s cycled through about 25 percent of players in the NBA teaching his own style of dude yoga.
“You can’t talk about the sun and opening your heart,” Katich said. “[The players] are going to shut you off, and they’re going to laugh at you.”
Yay! Oh. Hm. Well, we can still be excited because players like LA Clippers guard Baron Davis has glowing, heartfelt things to say like, “Yoga helps center you, especially for what we do. If you can find a place that keeps you centered, both mentally and physically, it can help push your game to the next level.” Aw.
Other mentionable teams on the yoga roster include the Denver Nuggets, where strength and conditioning coach Steve Hess has softened to off-season yoga with Bikram teacher Nancy Neilsen, and the Atlanta Hawks who tolerate regular sessions with instructor Michelle Young, even barefoot sometimes! SO CUTE.
Still, we’ve got the yoga benchwarmers, like Shawn Marion and Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks, because dammit, “That shit is hard,” as Marion expresses so adeptly. The article cryptically explains:
He [Shawn Marion] claimed he’s tried yoga only a few times at his offseason home in Chicago; accessibility to it has kept him from trying it on a more frequent basis, although he wouldn’t elaborate exactly what was inaccessible about it.
Right. Not enough meat and potatoes dude-ga options? May be! As for Terry, he just doesn’t dig pain, you see. “I don’t like pain,” Terry said. “Why would you do something that hurts?” Ugh, dude, totally hear that.
You know what though? We applaud the efforts of the NBA teams and players willing to look past social, gender, mental and bodily constructs to improve their skills on the court, and oh, in that little thing called everyday life, even if yoga is still on the fringe and teachers like Katich, Young and Nielsen are still considered yogadork aliens.
So let’s review. Reasons to do yoga:
- Injury prevention
- Increased flexibility
- Increased balance and agility
- Better breathing
- Stronger muscles and joints
- Less stress
Reasons to not to yoga:
- It’s freakin’ hard! And man, that shit hurts.
Yoga: Only for the strong and the brave.