Eddie Geroge: "Yoga Kept Me Injury Free"
Eddie George recalls that when he started doing yoga while with Tennessee seven years ago: “The perception was that it was a girl thing.”
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But if you’re 6’3″, 235 pounds and embarking on a career as a professional running back, you’re in position to change perceptions – which Eddie did.
“The introduction of yoga came upon me in 1997 – my second season in the NFL with the Houston Oilers,” Eddie admits.
“Now, I won’t entirely credit its benefits as to explaining why I am one of just two NFL running backs to never miss a start due to injury and rush for more than 10,000 career yards.”
“But I will attest to yoga as being one of the vital reasons why I did in fact stay nearly injury free during my nine years in the NFL,” George says proudly.
“With that said, early on during my experiences with yoga, I mainly sought its physical advantages only – flexibility and muscle tear/injury prevention – and you can bet the farm that those aspects of yoga were all very important for me. Especially with the amount of carries I was receiving in Coach Jeff Fisher’s run-first, ball-control offense.”
“To dust off the record books real quick: I hold the NFL record for most consecutive seasons (eight) of 300-plus attempts (from 1996 to 2003). My dedication to yoga no doubt in part led to all of those rushing attempts, rushing yards and victories quickly adding up toward a Super Bowl XXXIV appearance in 2000.”
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Eddie started his yoga path with the help of Nashville yoga instructor Hilary Lindsay .
“I’d thought, he’s an amazing athlete, what could I possibly teach him?” said Hilary. “But when he couldn’t even touch his knees, I thought, ‘Yes! This guy needs me.'”
Eddie says yoga increases his strength, endurance and flexibility, makes him more elusive and prevents injury–he hasn’t missed a start in nine seasons. And by now, everyone knows yoga isn’t just for girls. Last year, Eddie was even on the cover of Real Men Do Yoga.
“If you’re comfortable with yourself, it shouldn’t matter if a class is all guys or if you’re the only guy,” says Eddie. “Yoga’s just good for you.”