OXNARD, Calif. – Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett confirmed at his press conference Sunday that yoga is making a return to training camp this season.
In order to combat a rash of soft tissue injuries, the team turned to yoga during last year's camp since they were so close to the yoga capital of America, Los Angeles.
The experiment must have worked.
“It’s yoga, but it’s also stretching,” said Garrett. “We talk all the time with our players. Our bodies are our temples. That’s the way these guys make their living, so whatever they need to do to keep their bodies finely tuned, we try and create that environment for our guys.”
Garrett also revealed that he turned to yoga in order to maintain flexibility later in his playing career. “I can remember being in Valley Ranch doing yoga with Mike Madano and Troy Aikman as we all got well into our 30s. It's just something you need to do.”
Garrett also said that he was inspired as a child by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who turned to yoga at the end of his career for similar reasons.
The Cowboys have scheduled their first yoga session for Monday, while a special teams practice is held in the morning walkthrough. Players not participating in the practice will perform yoga with an instructor. The team had a dress rehearsal Sunday morning to get ready for Monday, and when the NFL Network tried to grab a few frames of the yoga workout, they were admonished by the Cowboys' public relations staff.
KSAT was allowed to shoot video during the team's first yoga workout last year, but when calls started coming in from franchises such as Entertainment Tonight, the Cowboys decided to shut down access to the workouts.
“The more flexible you are, the more nimble you are, and there is no question your performance will improve,” Garrett explained. “Your ability to handle injuries and your longevity should be enhanced.”
You just won’t see the Cowboys doing it in public.