A new trend is stepping up to the plate in baseball, and it has nothing to do with competition or who’s headed to the World Series, but it does involve quite the curve ball. Across the country baseball stadiums are offering yoga classes to baseball fans before or after the game. The Washington Nationals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Francisco Giants have all opened their outfields to yoga.
For years professional athletes have practiced yoga as a way to increase flexibility, heal injuries, calm their minds, and hone their awareness. Baseball and yoga are such a good match that you can even buy a DVD specifically for the combination. The rising popularity of yoga amongst players has, within the last couple of years, led to the organization of these special classes for fans.
For an extra cost on top of your ticket price, you are invited to take Savasana (Corpse Pose) on the field where your favorite athletes play. The cost includes a yoga mat stamped with your team’s logo and an open-level class taught by a local instructor. These classes draw up to 1,000 people, many of whom are newer to yoga.
Hosting a practice outside of a studio opens up possibilities for yoga where none may have existed before. Because of this people who aren’t familiar with yoga can begin to access their own practice through something they already love—in this case, baseball.
YogaWorks instructor Mia Togo, who led a practice after a Dodgers game, noted in an L.A. Times article that yoga “builds community and connection. That’s the point of bringing [it] to Dodger Stadium.” What better venue for building community than a place where people already come together to cheer for a common cause? Regardless of the final score, a yoga practice provides grounding and centering before or after the thrill of the game. Creating an accessible practice was also an important goal for Togo, as was bringing the practice to new yoga students.
This is a trend that will hopefully continue, whether it’s in the major or minor leagues. As more professional athletes catch on to the positive effects of a regular yoga practice, the effects will trickle down to fans, who may then continue to seek out classes or start home practices.
While there are countless benefits, the price of the class (which runs around $25 on top of the original ticket price) can put it out of reach for some. Then again, it’s arguably better to spend money on yoga than on sodas, hot dogs, and funnel cake at the games, and, as any fan can attest, the cost of food and beverages can easily exceed $25 for two people. Plus, your funnel cake doesn’t come with a yoga mat with the team’s logo.