The Brewers are one of about 15 teams in baseball that have added yoga to their training, so TODAY'S TMJ4’s Elise Menaker found out firsthand what it's like and why players do it.
On any given day at Miller Park out in right field you may see a diving catch, but find yourself there long before game time and it’s quite a different sight.
“I never thought it'd be where I stretch and where everything goes on I'm doing yoga,” said Brewers relief pitcher Corey Knebel.
For the first time the Brewers have integrated yoga into their training.
“No matter how you look at it, it's kind of a shot to your ego to begin with because you sit there and I've played with teammates that squat five plates on each side. It's not that big of a deal,” described Brewers relief pitcher Carlos Torres. “And then you start doing some of this stuff and you see yourself sweating and struggling and you have to take a breath put a knee down man, I can't believe it's really this hard, but it is what it is.”
They’re 45-minute sessions once or twice a week during homestands. Torres has never missed a class.
“He always makes sure that I come to yoga, you know, 'Hey, are you going to be here for yoga?' 1:15 p.m. don't be late,’” Knebel recalled.
“For me, it makes things a lot easier over a long period of time because not a lot of people know, we play 162 games in like 183 days so we play every day,” Torres explained.
On this day, Torres was joined by pitchers Corey Knebel, Brent Suter and TODAY'S TMJ4’s Elise Menaker. All locked in, listening to instructor Pamela Bliss.
“I'm creating a pause in the day to reset everything and move forward,” Bliss described. “I do make sure that we address hips, hamstrings, laterals, core, strength and of course flexibility. What's really, really critical in this practice is making sure that they're breathing properly and marrying the breath to the movement. If you're not doing that, you're just doing physical fitness.”
The Brewers said they added yoga to affect players’ minds and muscles. It's meant to enhance flexibility, balance and breathing without overtraining, and it's working.
“It really helps me out on the mound being able to lock in,” Knebel said. “Ever since I've been doing yoga I've been able to focus up a lot more.”
“I find myself extremely happy, I'm not in pain,” Torres said with a laugh.
And no pain is the Brewers' gain when it comes time to play ball.