Love, Yoga and Basketball

Happy Tuesday! I’m counting down the days until my vacation starts! 2 to go and I can’t wait. You all know I love yoga but I should tell you that there is a new yoga fan out there! My boyfriend Michael started practicing with me about a month and a half ago and loves it.  We take a very challenging class on Sunday mornings together and he loves how sore it makes his muscles and builds his balance and strength.  He’s newly obsessed and has been reading a lot about yoga, who is doing it and why they are practicing.

Sunday morning over omelets (yum!) he showed me this video about Kevin Love, an NBA Star for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

NBA Star Kevin Love Practicing Yoga!

http://sports.yahoo.com/elite-athlete-workouts/kevin-love?vid=27588442

I apologize…it is a yahoo video and you can’t embed yahoo videos on wordpress! But do click over and watch it, it’s only about 3 minutes and so interesting!

Kevin flows through 25 poses every class with 5 of them varying and 20 staple poses.  He tries to build strength and balance in each of his poses.  He also says that yoga frees his mind and when he walks into the yoga studio he is able to pay respect to his body.

The first 5 to 6 minutes start slow and easy to warm up and then he builds in to a dynamic Vinyasa flow to generate  heat and get his breath going.  Poses like airplane give him length on drop steps so he can get by a guy on the court. Yoga helps his lateral movement.  In chair pose he builds strength in his arches, toes and quads.  Boat poses helps to build his core but stretches his biceps and shoulders as well.  He also does poses to help drain out his legs and speed recovery.  Kevin also says yoga helps his stamina and breathing.

Kevin says other players often ask him about yoga and his instructor Kent Katich.  There is a growing interest in yoga  from basketball players, baseball players, football players and all kinds of athletes!  They are seeing the positive affects in the form of balance, strength and being more stretched out.  How can it not help a professional athlete?  Kent Katich works with many basketball players and pro athletes to bring yoga into their workout routine.

With NBA Stars and Football players how could yoga not catch on with the male population?  Yoga is not designed solely for women.  Designing a yoga practice dedicated to men is becoming very popular.  Most men aren’t as flexible as women and attending a yoga class with a bunch of women who can put their leg behind their head can be intimidating.  You are now beginning to see the emergence of yoga studios specifically for men!  Here in Boston there is a studio called Broga.  Here’s how they describe their practice:

Broga is a yoga class geared for men (where it’s okay if you can’t touch your toes).

Strong, energetic,and challenging, Broga combines the best core-strengthening, muscle-toning, cardio-working, stress-reducing, clarity-enhancing yoga postures with functional fitness exercises for an amazing workout.

You’ll get that pumped-up feeling you get from working out and a deep flexibility and relaxation feeling from “working in.”

They offer classes in Somerville, MA and Martha’s Vineyard, MA and offer yoga retreats.  They are also looking to work with people to expand Broga into other areas and certify instructors to teach.

I think this is a great way for men to try yoga and get a great workout! It has all the benefits of yoga but ensures that men will get the post-workout feeling they love from lifting weights or hitting the gym.  I think this is a definite must try for the men out there in 2012!  I hope this takes off for men as yoga has taken off with women.  I think the positive effects are amazing and I love seeing celebrities and pro athletes promoting yoga and encouraging men to try yoga as a workout.  It is a much healthier alternative to weight lifting and can eliminate injuries that occur at the gym.  So yoga on men!!

As a man would you be encouraged to try a yoga class solely for men?  Does seeing pro athletes practicing encourage you to try yoga?  Does taking a yoga class with a bunch of women intimidate you?  Women, would you like for your friend, husband, boyfriend, brother to try yoga and practice with you?  Does seeing pro male athletes practicing encourage you to practice?

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