I’ve begun teaching short yoga sessions to the UNC football team. It’s a fascinating experience and a refreshing difference from working with my usual, familiar endurance athletes. The players aren’t shy about reacting to the poses—they groan as they ease into pigeon, they crack up as they roll to balance on their sitting bones or fall out of crow. Stoic distance runners aren’t nearly so eager to admit to discomfort or difficulty.
Yesterday, as some of the players were cutting up, one of their coaches warned, “This doesn’t require much talking. You can do this now or you can be out running.” It was a threat, of course (though to me it sounded like a toss-up: yoga or running?), and it worked. I love how the coach’s command epitomized yoga’s exhortation to be here now. Do this now.