Cover image for Real men do yoga : 21 star athletes reveal their secrets for strength, flexibility and peak performance
Real men do yoga : 21 star athletes reveal their secrets for strength, flexibility and peak performance
Capouya, John, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Deerfield Beach, Fla. : Health Communications, [2003]

Physical Description:
xix, 195 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA781.7 .C355 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
RA781.7 .C355 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RA781.7 .C355 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RA781.7 .C355 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RA781.7 .C355 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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With its revolutionary approach to yoga and innovative, male-oriented instruction, Real Men Do Yoga will be the definitive guide for both novice and veteran men who are discovering the innumerable physical and mental benefits of yoga.

Satisfying the male fascination with sports and admiration for athletes are interviews with more than twenty pros, all of whom are enthusiastic yoga practitioners: football's Eddie George, Shannon Sharpe and Amani Toomer; baseball pitchers Barry Zito (2002 Cy Young Award winner) and Al Leiter, star hockey goalie Sean Burke and NBA superstar Kevin Garnett as well as pro golfers and tennis players.

Photos of sports stars doing yoga, such as football greats Dan Marino and Chris Carter, drive home a powerful message. Each chapter offers a combination of stretches and strength-builders that target and benefit specific areas:

Conquering back pain (which afflicts an estimated 10 million men) Improving sports performance including yoga for golf, running, basketball, tennis and more Increasing flexibility in the upper body, spine and lower body Building muscle strength Improving sexual performance

In a sea of yoga books aimed at women, Real Men Do Yoga is an easily accessible, "non-New Agey" guidebook that takes something mysterious to American men and offers a reassuringly effective and practical guide that they'll actually use.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Capouya presents a fun and useful guide to yoga that combines clear instructions with humor and that uses a normal-looking American man as its primary model. Beginning versions of classic yoga poses are explained along with super charged versions for those wanting more of a challenge. To appeal to the inner athlete, there are numerous testimonials from well-known professional athletes with some impressive photos of football stars Eddie George and Dan Marino, among others. Also included are testimonials from real men --normal guys with normal lives--explaining how yoga has helped them deal with physical problems and stress. Capouya's guide emphasizes the physical benefits of yoga to improve strength, flexibility, and stamina and offers tips on improving performance in various sports and sequences of poses for both rookies and veterans. A solid primer for men interested in giving yoga a try. --Jane Tuma Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This is an excellent introduction to yoga for men, although sportswriter Capouya is a little too concerned about reminding his male readers that yoga "isn't a chick thing." By keeping his book's focus on "yoga's fantastic physical and mental benefits, without getting into the more cosmic stuff," Capouya shows what yoga enthusiasts have known for years-that yoga is a "complex, sophisticated exercise system" that can be used to increase flexibility, build muscle energy and functional strength and help prevent sports injuries. The clever thing about this book is that it takes traditional and well-known yoga moves such as the Cobra, the Cat Stretch and the Eagle along with other basic yoga breathing techniques, and shows how they can fit into other body-building programs such as weight-lifting for better overall result. But the book's subtitle is a bit misleading. The book does feature short and direct page-long testimonials by "yoga jocks" like pitcher Al Leiter, as well as comments by other pros such as golfer David Duval and star running back Eddie George ("Yoga definitely builds strength. I've noticed it mostly in my upper body"), whose well-chiseled frame is featured on the cover in a yoga position. But the book's strength is its easy-to-handle introductory program of yoga techniques that can be applied to existing workouts for any other sport. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Using as examples male sport celebrities who condition and train with yoga, including Eddie George, Barry Zito, and Kevin Garnett, Capouya (deputy editor, SmartMoney magazine) attempts to dispel common misconceptions about men and yoga by outlining the practice's "fantastic physical and mental benefits, without getting into the more cosmic stuff." After briefly covering the basics, Capouya then presents exercise progressions (yoga poses and positions) for flexibility, muscle strength, core body strength, back pain, specific sports, relaxation, and sex. Each exercise comes with step-by-step instructions, illustrations, and an explanation why that particular exercise or group of exercises is beneficial. The author presents these exercises in a logical progression that not only makes sense to readers but also involves them in performing the exercises before having to finish the book. While aimed at reluctant males, this well-organized and engagingly written book would certainly be instructional for anyone. Recommended for public libraries, consumer health libraries, and universities with physical education majors.-Howard Fuller, Stanford Health Lib., Palo Alto, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter 12 Staying Focused: Work Sharper, Play Better "I practice my breathing and focusing before every game," says Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves. "Yoga helps me calm down and helps me center my energy so I'm balanced instead of going out there and just spreading my energy all over the court. I'm zeroed in on the game and have my mind set on what I need to do." If you follow sports at all, you know that this guy is an unbelievable basketball player, one of the top five in the NBA, which means in the world. Beyond his skills and talents, he also brings it every game, never taking a night off. That's consistent effort and consistent focus. And he's been able to laser in like that ever since he came into the league straight outta high school. Not coincidentally, that's when Garnett started practicing yoga. "I've been doing it since 1995. It's something I've liked ever since. It was difficult at times, but when you're young and you're spontaneous, you try all things. Fortunately I was able to carry it over to now." He explains that he does a full yoga workout in the off-season and during the grueling 82-game campaign, he just uses the breath work. For Garnett and many other top athletes see the sidebar on relief pitcher Steve Reed in this chapter the breath is the vehicle that gets them mentally focused. First they block out everything but their respiration; then they transfer that complete attention to the task at hand. By making sure they are breathing fully and deeply, which we tend not to do in times of stress, they also ensure they're getting maximum oxygen intake, which helps them perform physically. However, other yoga jocks say they're big believers in the yoga poses for honing their concentration. The attention and discipline the matwork requires trains them to bear down and be "in the moment" during games. Kerry Kittles, starting shooting guard for the New Jersey Nets, tried yoga before the 2001 2002 season when he was rehabbing from a knee operation. Along the way, Kerry noticed how yoga "helps your focus." "Obviously playing professional sports is all about focus," he says. "And yoga's all about holding a pose and maintaining your focus on that, trying to get deeper and relaxing yourself at the same time. You do that for an hour-and-a-half session, three or four sessions a week, and you become better at keeping your mind on one thing and not letting your mind drift." One area he specifically wanted to get better in was free throws. (He's a 78 percent career shooter at this writing, which is far from shabby. But not good enough for him.) "I have a tendency of not being focused while I'm at the line, so I try to think about the stuff that I did in yoga class to help me focus and relax when I am in a pose. It really helps you get where you want to be mentally," he says. There's really no argument between these two groups of top performers; yoga breathing exercises and the positions both put you in Excerpted from Real Men Do Yoga: 21 Star Athletes Reveal Their Secrets for Strength, Flexibility and Peak Performance by John Capouya All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Real Men Do Yogap. xiii
1. Getting Startedp. 1
2. The Joy of Flex & Why Yoga Flexes Bestp. 5
3. Flexing the Upper Body & the Spinep. 15
4. Flexing the Lower Bodyp. 29
5. Yoga Power: Building Functional Strength & Muscle Energyp. 45
6. Balance & Body Controlp. 63
7. Cardio & Learning to Breathe [Again]p. 75
8. Working the Core: Abs & Beyondp. 87
9. Injuries: Prevention & Recoveryp. 97
10. No More Back Pain!p. 111
11. Yoga for Golf Plus: Sport-by-Sport Workoutsp. 121
Golfp. 122
Runningp. 127
Bikingp. 128
Tennis, Racquetball and Squashp. 128
Swimmingp. 129
Basketballp. 129
Baseball and Softballp. 129
Hockey and Skatingp. 130
Skiing and Snowboardingp. 130
12. Staying Focused: Work Sharper, Play Betterp. 135
13. Deep Relaxation: Stress Busting & the Best Sleep of Your Lifep. 141
14. Meditation: Going Deeper Withinp. 149
15. The Payoff: Peak Performance in The Zonep. 161
16. Sex: The Yoga Bonus [For Both of You]p. 169
17. Making It Work: Yoga in Your Lifep. 175
18. Get with the Program! Yoga Workouts for Rookies & Veteransp. 179
About the Authorp. 193
About the Contributorsp. 195