Is Yoga Good For You?

Yoga Pose

-January 11th, 2012-

Years ago I wouldn’t have bothered wasting my time discussing Yoga on a site geared for lacrosse players. They simply didn’t try it because it was feminine, for women only.

Now however more and more players have picked up attending a Yoga class as a means to improve their flexibility and help recover from the soreness and stiffness they feel after a tough game. I also think the prominence of Lululemon attire in the class helps their motivation but that’s another post altogether.

Yoga is not laughed at anymore as some have finally discovered that it is actually very tough and demanding on the body.

While the 98 pound girl leading the class can easily twist and contort themselves and hold these poses for seemingly endless amounts of time without breaking a sweat, the average inflexible lacrosse player is sweating through their shirt with their arms shaking in agony trying not to quit out of shear embarrassment (or so I hear, I mean that never happened to me personally about 5 years ago…)

But do I recommend Yoga?

No, I do not!

Too many of the poses commonly used include spinal flexion, extension (as pictured below), and rotation which are the opposite of what you want as a lacrosse player. Yoga Spine Extension As I wrote in Death of the Crunch (Core Training for Lacrosse), you only have so many flexions and extensions of your spine in your lifetime so I don’t believe in using them up while ‘training.’

A common argument I hear is ‘they occur in the game so why not train it?’ My reply to that is that you also get crosschecked in the neck and punched in the face during a game. Should you train that?

Yoga has many good qualities to it and many good poses. In fact, I utilize and preach the importance of some of these movements being included in a proper warm up before every workout, practice, and game for my players. Do Handwalks look familiar?

However as I said Yoga has many negative poses as well. Recently, the New York Times published an article called “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body”.

I admit the specific cases are extreme, rare, and almost certain to not happen to you. The important thing is to be aware that there are dangers to it. A spinal twist or a head stand with your chin tucked to your chest and your neck at a 90 degree angle sound like stuff Dr. Nick from The Simpson’s would prescribe.

And if you do perform these movements, you will eventually need to see Dr. Homer about his Miracle Spine-O-Cylinder!

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Leave A Reply (1 comment so far)

  1. Blaise Fergguesson
    1 year ago

    I know this is an old article, but as a women’s college player, I’m pretty disappointed in how sexist it is.




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