Clubhouse Viral NHL

Vancouver Canucks Hit the Yoga Mats Yesterday

Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

Instead of hitting the ice this past Monday, a few of the Vancouver Canucks hit the gym and not just to perform the typical, routine exercises and weight training.  Rather, it was to hit the mats and do some yoga.

Canucks captain, Henrik Sedin, told the Calgary Herald:

“This year is the first time we’ve done it and it’s really relaxing, good for stretching a bit of a workout, too,” said Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. “I’ve never done yoga before and we’ve already done it five or six times and I think it’s great. You feel extremely relaxed afterwards and we even do it after games. It gets you to calm down and not where you go home and can’t fall asleep. It gets you back to feeling good.

“But it’s hard because we’re not that flexible and it wears on you sometimes. But it’s fun.”

Yoga may be new to most of the Canucks, but it’s not that new to hockey or hockey players.  Many hockey strength and conditioning coaches employ this ancient Hindu philosophy to help their players both mentally and physically.  There are also a few well-known players who take part in yoga to elevate their game such as elite Boston Bruins (I guess now that’s New York Islanders) goaltender, Tim Thomas.  Thomas himself has said it has helped him a great deal with flexibility, which plays a big role in being a goalie at the top of his or her game.  Flexibility is actually necessary for most hockey players when you think about it, so yoga can benefit the majority.

Other NHLers, past and present, who have tried or who make yoga a part of their work-out regimen are Roberto Luongo (Canucks goalie), Mark MessierJonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks), Wayne Gretzky and Joffrey Lupul (along with many other Toronto Maple Leafs players) to name a few.

After the Canucks most recent loss this past Sunday to the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 8-3, yoga could definitely help them with their next game tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes.  The puck is set to drop at 7:00 (est) at the Rogers Arena.

Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins writer for Follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her Facebook page, or add her to your Google+ circle.