What Does Yoga Have to Do with Football?

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What Does Yoga Have to Do with Football?
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New York Giants after winning Super Bowl in 2012.

You may be wondering what yoga has to do with football. It has everything to do with it. Many NFL teams participate in yoga to improve their endurance and flexibility. In fact, last year I accurately predicted that the New York Giants would win Super Bowl due to their participation in yoga and poses (asanas). Numerous other NFL teams and players implement poses as a means to help them play ball better. In addition, numerous college and high school teams practice asanas for many reasons.

The New York Giants are practicing yoga to prepare for Super Bowl again this year

The Giants won Super Bowl last year, and yoga had a large part to do with that, so why wouldn't they use that same technique again? It is smart on their part to prepare for this year's Super Bowl in much the same manner. Gwen Lawrence is a yoga instructor who is working with the Giants again this year and has been instructing them for the past 11-years. During the active season, Lawrence focuses on post game poses as a means to stretch and cool down the muscles. Her favorites are pigeon pose, frog pose and hero pose.

The Tennessee Titans' defensive tackle, Shaun Smith, lost weight due to yoga

Shaun Smith lost 22-lbs by participating in Bikram (hot) Yoga during the off-season. Some of his fellow teammates are giving him a hard time because he is participating in a form of exercise that many females also find beneficial. Let them joke all they want because yoga is for real men and it is not an easy form of exercise. It takes a lot of concentration and commitment. It will help one to shed pounds as well as gain flexibility and endurance. It also has the capability to increase muscle mass.

The Mercyhurst Lakers cool down by practicing yoga

The Mercyhurst University football team makes use of yoga after practice as a way to stretch their muscles and relax. This is a great way to cool-down since there are many asanas that stretch numerous muscle groups and help the mind and body unwind. Their instructor, Betty Amatangelo, takes advantage of poses that prevent injury and stretch the muscles used during football practice.

Kansas State University football players utilize yoga

Both receiver, Christ Harper and linebacker, Arthur Brown of the Kansas State Wildcats participate in yoga to gain flexibility. Harper says, "The first time I took it, I was upset because I can't sit Indian style on the ground, and I took it and told the teacher that's what I was trying to do, and I still couldn't do it after the class - I didn't feel any better. I took a regular yoga class so I can try to sit Indian style, because the groin area is vital for receivers. If I can sit Indian style I think that would be big."

Foley Falcons high school lineman unwinds by practicing yoga

Cameron Svihla, a lineman for the Foley Falcons, participates in yoga once a week after football practice to get a superior stretch. Svihla says, "It's just a good stretch. We stretch after practice, but we don't do 20-25 minutes of stretching." Cameron participates in yoga, allowing anyone else on the team that wants to join him come along.

More from Rebecca Bardelli:

Top Five Yoga Poses for Football Players

Why the Giants Will Win Super Bowl XLVI Due to Yoga: Fan's Take

Top Five NFL Players Involved in Charities for Children: A Female's Perspective

Rebecca completed courses in Medical Terminology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Coding and Billing. She is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). In addition, Rebecca is a former gymnast and is avid about yoga, swimming and other athletic activities. Follow her on Twitter @RebeccaBardelli.

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