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TU Football players turn to yoga

Ashli Montgomery

There are some sounds that are synonymous with football.

"Inhale as you straighten your legs back into that forward fold."

That is not one of them...at least not yet.

"The most tangible is probably the balance," Ashli Montgomery said. "Not just the physical balance, but the mental balance."

It could be catching on. Coach Philip Montgomery offers yoga for his players, and sees benefits from it on the field.

"Yoga's one of the newer things we've tried to implement into a lot of different football aspects," Tulsa head football coach Philip Montgomery said. "The basic stretching, the strengthening you can grab from it - and it's low impact - so it's allowing a lot of recovery. It's been really beneficial for our athletes.

"We did it during the season last year every Sunday," Montgomery added. "It was one of those things that I think helped our guys recover quickly and bounce back from injury a little bit sooner."

"It's really good for them," Ashli Montgomery says. "The mindfulness of having to try something that's difficult is very very beneficial."

Just don't go mistaking beneficial, for easy.

"Like today, we're doing yoga with Momma Monty - it's 60 degrees and windy - and I'm sweating," Tulsa defensive lineman Jesse Brubaker remarked. "You don't really think of yoga as being a really hard thing to do, but you get out there doing it and it's very difficult."

If you didn't pick up on it yet, Ashli rules the roost at the Montgomery household - to the point of getting Monty himself to do yoga.

"When I was going through my teacher certification, he was my best.... guinea pig," Ashli remembered. "Well, obviously I had a great teacher in her," Montgomery said. "I don't want to disappoint her, so I'm trying extremely hard - but, I mean - some of those poses are not quite up my alley."

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