After a hectic first few days of training camp that included a renewed national anthem discussion and a Dez Bryant Twitter tirade, the Dallas Cowboys may have picked the perfect time to add yoga to their program.
While not its originally intended purpose going into camp, the discipline will now have the dual role of helping players keep their minds off of those distractions, as well as its main function - preventing injuries.
"Yoga has been around football teams. We used to do it on the practice field in the offseason up in New York," said coach Jason Garrett. "It's such a big part of getting yourself physically ready to play, just with your flexibility."
Garrett said the team will have a total of 4 or 5 yoga sessions throughout their time in Oxnard, California.
"Our guys work really hard in the weight room and obviously they practice hard. I do think it helps their performance and their recovery as well. I think they were locked in on it. They were focused in and I think they recognized that it can help them, and I think we'll get something out of it."
The Cowboys didn't have to look far for an instructor recommendation. Stacey Hickman led Saturday's session. She worked with offensive lineman Tyron Smith earlier in the offseason.
"We have a lot of guys who are flexible, said Garrett. "Some guys that might surprise you. I was pleased with guys' engagement with it."
Garrett can personally vouch for yoga's effectiveness, admitting that it has helped him before during his football career.
"At the latter part of my playing career I really needed it, so I did a lot then. Off and on, in and around my coaching schedule, I try to do it. There's no question, I feel better once I'm doing yoga."