Many people use yoga as a way to clear their minds and stay in good shape.
One local high school football team is taking advantage of its health and mental benefits as a way to get ready for this season.
Last year, the Mountain View football team brought home the 5A state title.
In just over three weeks, they’ll be back on the field, looking to defend their championship.
But in order to get a leg up on the competition, they’re taking a unique approach this week: three yoga sessions, at Bikram Yoga in Bend.
“The focus, especially for our kids, for high school kids, (is) getting them to learn how to learn, learn how to focus, and then have a calming, somewhat, effect,” Cougars Defensive Coordinator Neil Elshire said.
It’s like working out in your shower for an hour and a half -- that’s how warm it is inside the yoga room at Bikram Yoga: 102 to 103 degrees, with 30 to 40 percent humidity.
“It was extremely hot," said offensive tackle Chad Bach. "Your head is killing you. I’ve never sweat that much in my life. I was thinking, ‘Who’s going to stop me from walking out?’ But it’s definitely something you've got to stick through,”
Not only is yoga helping sharpen their focus, but it adds an increased flexibility and helps heal injuries faster.
It also contributed to the team mentality, as they’re all sweating next to each other for one common goal.
“For them to go through things like this together, to realize the group is stronger than just one, that you can actually gain energy from another human doing the same thing,” Elshire said.
“I think it’s a trust factor, because I know my guys know I won’t quit on them and I know they won’t quit on me == and that’s really where the bond comes in.," Bach said. "We’re doing stuff together, and we’re going through stuff together -- and that makes champions.”
The Cougars open up their title defense in Lebanon on Aug. 31.