A student in a yoga class I attended in Berkeley, Calif. last Saturday asked the teacher about the origin of the Sanskrit chant we had just repeated. He explained that the words were the lyrics from the theme song to Battlestar Galactica. Inviting pop-culture references into the sometimes-serious space of the studio is a terrific way to normalize the complementary medicine practice. So is welcoming 6’8″, 250-pound athletes to an activity often stereotyped as being for the petite, female and flexible.
That is to say that LeBron James takes yoga. In case you somehow missed it, the Miami Heat star got sidelined by cramps near the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. A piece on Sports Illustrated‘s Point Forward describes how yoga played a role in James’ recovery and preparation for the next game of the series:
[Readying his body for Game 2] included, among a more extensive hydration regimen, James’ decision to attend a Sunday morning yoga class at the Heat’s team hotel in San Antonio.
“Yoga isn’t just about the body, it’s also about the mind and it’s a technique that has really helped me,” James told Brian Windhorst (then of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer) in 2009. “You do have to focus because there’s some positions that can really hurt you at times if you aren’t focused and breathing right.”
Upon his arrival in Miami, James also credited yoga for his supernatural level of endurance. Only Kevin Durant has logged more total minutes since James joined the Heat in 2011.
Previously: Third down and ommm: How an NFL team uses yoga and other tools to enhance players’ well-being, NIH to host Twitter chat on science of yoga and Expert argues that for athletes, “sleep could mean the difference between winning and losing”
Via Tiffany Russo Yoga
Photo by ASSOCIATED PRESS