Missouri football players feel the burn with newfound offseason activity National – Natural Self Esteem

When Missouri soccer players entered the yoga room at the Lotus Hot Yoga Studio, they found it difficult to ignore the sudden change in temperature.

As the weather outside touched the teens, the effects of entering a compact 100-degree room for an hour-long workout prior to spring practice were felt. But as they’ve since learned, when classes are over and the temporary discomfort subsides, players go home refreshed and rested.

With days packed with exercise, strength training, and classes, Hot Yoga has quickly become a favorite retreat for many players. This spring, those sessions came up in press conferences, and players were more than happy to explain the benefits they’ve felt since stepping out of their comfort zone for the first time.

“I think (hot yoga) was really good for mobility, flexibility and strength, especially in awkward positions,” said senior receiver Barrett Banister.

Banister was the first to discover Lotus — a yoga studio that Brandy Turner and her husband Josh opened in May — initially reaching out in January to set up a session for himself and redshirt sophomore quarterback Brady Cook . A few curious teammates have joined in the months since, and a handful are now regulars.

“You all mentioned back pain and hip pain,” Turner said. “They’re huge guys, and yoga with the heat really helps them lengthen and stretch a little bit further in poses. The idea of ​​sitting down and meditating isn’t appealing, but a hot yoga session still feels very sporty.”

When players first joined a session, they would enter the studio with no idea what to expect, and many dropped their guard early. For the first 15 to 20 minutes, Turner instructs her class to focus on breathing as the temperature slowly rises to 104 degrees, where it stays.

Then the routes quickly become more complex. As the humidity increases, grimaces and weariness appear on players’ faces as they realize what they’ve encountered.

“Yoga rooms are silent rooms, but we started moving and (players) got to a point where it was more difficult and you could see them laughing, falling out of a pose or looking at each other,” he said gymnast “It was nice to see them really embrace the practice.”


Most of Lotus’ classes focus on the hips and lower back, relieving some of the most common physical ailments soccer players suffer from. The classes were particularly popular with Missouri linemen, who spend entire exercises bending over in weight-bearing positions. Turner said she regularly sees graduate student Connor Wood, while other regulars include seniors Trajan Jeffcoat, Cannon York and Isaiah McGuire.

Albeit subtle, players have noticed the effects of slowing down breathing and being present while stretching. The hope is that these enhanced skills will be translated into the field of practice this spring and beyond.

“Every single one of them comes out and tells me it was more intense than they expected,” Turner said. “And they’ve all come back because they like the stretch and how it makes them feel.”

The courses are not only a good workout, but also give players the opportunity to interact with the Columbia community. During the public classes, everyone from unemployed businesspeople to self-employed millennials sees a different side to the athletes they see at Faurot Field on Saturdays in the fall.

“It’s amazing how excited[a guy]was,” Turner said. “He tells people at work that he trains with the football team. It was a realization of, yes, this is our football team, and you step back and they’re just kids. It was a different approach to be up close and personal with these guys that people adore.”

Several players have expressed interest in attending further sessions when their football schedule allows. Some have even booked private sessions and hope to find time to continue classes in the fall.

What began as an off-field activity on a whim has quickly evolved into an anticipated non-football workout. Entering the 100+ degree studio has never been easier, but players now know what to expect and what the benefits are: all by doing something as simple as concentrating on your breath in a hot room.

“Yoga is going to help a football player who has to constantly bend down and be able to turn a corner,” defensive line coach Al Davis said. “I think it’s good that the players got together and found a place to go.”

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