OXNARD, Calif. – The light in me recognizes the light in … the Dallas Cowboys?
Towels replaced the mats, and the “studio” was the two football fields at the River Ridge complex, but Cowboys players were channeling their inner vinyasa Saturday morning in Oxnard.
The team has turned to yoga as a means of preparing for practice – and ultimately to play game speed. Head coach Jason Garrett said the team will do yoga four or five times during the course of training camp.
“It’s such a big part of getting yourself physically ready to play,” he said. “Hopefully it’s good for injury prevention as well.”
Cornerback Jourdan Lewis started doing yoga during his rookie season last year.
“I knew it was a thing,” he said. “I always had the option to do it [as a collegiate player] at Michigan. I never really did it, because I didn’t know if it was a benefit.
“But it’s definitely a huge benefit when you get out there and do it on a consistent basis.”
It may be new to some of the players, but Garrett said yoga was a part of the football practice regimen when he was playing in the 1990s.
Now, NFL players doing yoga can certainly be a funny visual, especially when you see the likes of 6-foot-3, 309-pound Joe Looney getting into downward dog. But the Cowboys had no problem finding their mantra.
“Everybody’s cool with it,” Lewis said. “Everybody’s a manly man and understands it’s just to prolong their career.”
Stacey Hickman led the yoga sessions after Saturday morning’s special teams walkthrough. All we know about her is that she’s worked with Cowboys offensive lineman Tyron Smith in the offseason – The Cowboys wouldn’t let any media talk to her for some reason.