Downward-Facing Dyshawn: Syracuse Football Incorporating Yoga Into Workouts

Mark Metcalfe

"We're not going to go fancy so we don't have mats." - strength coach Will Hicks

When I lived in Los Angeles, I used to take yoga with Brian Kest, who was fond of saying, ‎"Why is there no machine for your rectum at Gold’s Gym?" His point being, if you're going to exercise your body, shouldn't you focus more on taking care of it rather than just trying to make it look good? (He also used to say "Who cares if you fall? I hope you fall. I hope the whole f***ing row goes down." which invariably caused the whole row to go down. Bastard.).

I remember a few years ago when it came out that certain pro and college athletes had started integrating yoga into their workouts. They took the usual crap for it. Nowadays, it's nice to see that the expectation has gone from "why are you doing yoga" to "why the hell AREN'T 275-pound athletes who put maximum amounts of pressure on their body every day doing yoga?" Syracuse Orange football strength coach Will Hicks gets it and he's got the team incorporating yoga into the team workout.

"Some thought it would be hard," Hicks said. "Some thought it would be easy. I think by the first day they thought it was one of the hardest things they've ever done in their life. We did it in Manley. We're not going to go fancy so we don't have mats."

Hicks said he brought in Donna Acox, who works with Syracuse recreation services, on the suggestion of Jarrod West, who has taken classes from her. Other proponents for yoga included Dyshawn Davis, Cameron Lynch and Terrel Hunt, three of SU's most dedicated weight-room warriors.

Will Hicks thinks having a yoga mat is "fancy" and that tells you everything you need to know about Will Hicks.

Now, if we can get Eric Crume into Feathered Peacock Pose, that's just as good as a win over Villanova.

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