Yoga is an ancient practice that is gentle on the body. It increases flexibility, lubricates the tendons, joints and ligaments as well as massages all organs of the body. It offers complete detoxification and is excellent for toning muscles.
Often times we think of yoga as either a “new age” or feminine form of exercise. It is not a work out we would think big NBA players would participate in. Surprisingly, it is fast becoming embraced by the players.
Players run, stop quickly and turn fast, all actions that put a lot of wear and tear on their joints. Yoga allows them be more flexible and extend their careers with less stress on their bodies.
Kareem Abdul- Jabbar is 7-foot-2, claims a few of the leagues records in career point records, field goals and All-Star selections. He enjoyed a long incredible career, mainly because men his size break down and don’t last long in a physically taxing sport.
“When it wasn’t cool to do, he said ‘I do yoga,” said Kent Katich, an instructor who has worked with hundreds of NBA players. “Not only did he play for 20 years, but he is one the few 7-foot guys that still has his health. He’s mobile. He can get around. He’s still active. A lot of guys barely walk at that age (62) and that height, just from the wear and tear.”
Katich is championing yoga among NBA players. He was hired by the L.A Clippers as the yoga coach and also works with the UCLA men’s basketball team. He has been dubbed the “Yoga Guru of the NBA” thanks in part to his efforts.
“Yoga has grown into another tool by which they can train” says Katich.
Players such as, Clipper’s rookie, Blake Griffin have added yoga to their routines to stay flexible and decrease their risk of injury.
“Slowly,” Griffin said. “I wouldn’t say completely, but a lot more guys are realizing the importance of flexibility.”