Yoga for Basketball

Bikram Yoga for Ballers

With fans in withdrawal thanks to an NHL lockout, we thought we’d turn our attention to the NBA, which is currently in full swing. As it turns out, hockey players aren’t the only athletes who include Bikram Yoga in their training … find out which basketball stars get sweaty in the hot room (read more about Yoga for Hockey Players)

Bikram Yoga for Basketball Players


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Yoga PoseKareem Abdul-Jabbar

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whom many consider to be the greatest centre in basketball history, was one of the first pro athletes to cross-train with Bikram Yoga (looking for more Bikram Yoga for Pro-Athletes). A close friend of Bikram Choudhury, Abdul-Jabbar credits the yoga (which he started practising at age 36) with helping him to extend his career by seven years: “There is no way I could have played aslong as I did without yoga. My friends and teammates think I made a deal with the devil. But it was yoga that made my training complete.”



Brandon BassBrandon Bass

Thanks to a recommendation from his nutritionist, Brandon Bass of the Boston Celtics has been doing Bikram Yoga twice a week for the past three years. “I thought he was crazy because it was hard – very hard – my first time,” says the power forward. “But it’s a mental thing so I just got used to it and now it’s easy.” Now, the 27-year-old credits Bikram Yoga for helping him to bounce back from knee injuries, calling the practice “good for lengthening, strengthening and balance.”


Bruce Bowen Yoga Pose

Bruce Bowen

Retired NBA forward Bruce Bowen credits Bikram Yoga for helping his body endure the rigors of a career that lasted from 1997 to 2012: “I really enjoy the stretching aspect. A lot of ball players hate stretching. They just want to get on the court and play. But it is beneficial,” he says. “When I am consistent with the yoga exercises I think I am at least 40% more flexible.”




Louis Amundson yoga shirtlessLouis Amundson

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Louis Amundson has been practising Bikram Yoga for several years, saying it has helped him with endurance on the court and improving his core strength. He also knows that Bikram Yoga will help to increase his longevity in the league: “Yoga can help any athlete with hip joints, muscles, tendons, and knees problems. Plus it keeps you in touch with your body.”

[Photo: Bikram Yoga Institute]


Brian Cook

Washington Wizards forward Brian Cook recently talked to ESPN about how he spent his off-season: “This summer I did a lot of Bikram Yoga. Like the first week was horrible, man. I just couldn’t stand the heat. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, and I’ve been running and training for years and years and years. It was kind of cool. I did it for about two or three weeks straight. By the end of the three weeks, I was doing pretty well, man. I heard Kareem Abdul-Jabbar extended his career four or five years with this, so I just thought to try it out.”

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