Just wanted to share this article I read in the NY Post with all of you. The Superbowl Champions are also fans of Yoga and know the benefits of this amazing activity. Yoga is available every Thursday at 5:30 in Dance Studio I in the Wellness Center through the amazing Sarah Lockenmeyer. If you have never done it, give it a try and see how you feel after. Sarah’s class is for all levels so it is a great opportunity to get a practice going this semester. Plus it’s FREE!
She’s got the Giants all tied up in knots — and they’re paying her to do it!
A yoga instructor has been whipping team’s biggest bruisers into shape this season, getting them ready for gameday by bending them into pretzel-like positions like downward dog, tree and frog.
“It’s a very demanding form of exercise that includes balance strength, flexibility, mental toughness, focus, and proper breathing,” said Gwen Lawrence who has been on Big Blue’s payroll since 2004.
Yoga is also a key to preventing injuries and especially to protecting star quarterback, Eli Manning on the field, she said.
She was introduced to the team by gridiron great Frank Gifford after spending years as a personal yoga teacher for his feisty TV star wife, Kathie Lee Gifford, who still calls Lawrence, “a dear friend.”
Lawrence’s yoga classes are mandatory for Giants rookies, and optional for the vets, though many of them go regularly, including Eli Manning who she calls, “nice, smart, and really flexible.”
In her classes at the Giants Meadowlands facility, Lawrence focuses on teaching poses to help players recover after especially hard-hitting games, and offers yoga assignments for the players to take home and practice all week.
She said she adjusts her routines based on the players who show up— an offensive lineman has different needs and a different body type than an acrobatic, agile wide receiver.
Each of Big Blue’s stars have a different favorite pose, Lawrence said.
Antrel Rolle – Facedown Shoulder Opener: “This pose opens the chest, the front of the deltoids (shoulders) and stretches the biceps,” Lawrence says. “Stretching the shoulders is important for a lot of the players, and this poses works on all the muscles that surround the joint, which will strengthen the joint.”
Ahmad Bradshaw – Plank pose with wrists turned: Plank pose requires players to point their fingers down to 6 o’clock instead of the usual 12 o’clock to open up the wrists. “This is essential for core strength, and it’s great to help wrists absorb shock, which is important not only for linemen who are pushing, but also for a receiver who’s going to fall hard on his wrists,” she said.
Victor Cruz – Hero pose with toes tucked under: “Tuck your toes under in heroes pose to stretch the Achilles tendon, calf, and foot,” she said. “This will help build supple, flexible ankles and help prevent foot pain.”
Hakeem Nicks – Frog pose: “This poses stretches the groin and inner thighs,” Lawrence said. “When I do it with the Giants, it’s a 5-to-10 minute pose. It’s important to remember that your flexibility won’t improve unless you push yourself.”
Eli Manning – Pigeon pose: The classic hip-opening pose, pigeon pose is a valuable stretch for any exerciser. “Studies show that the more open and flexible the hips are, the less stress you put on the body’s weakest joint — the knee,” Lawrence said.