NamasteJanuary 15, 2019

Nike's first yoga apparel collection is nothing to scoff at, the training benefits are real

Leggings or not, yoga can benefit your athletic performance more than you think

Nike recently debuted the company's first yoga-specific apparel collection, including pieces for both male and female yogis. This line is a fresh look from the typically high-impact focused brand, with a specific focus on yoga that the company calls a "clean, distraction-free aesthetic." The Nike Yoga Collection from Nike Training is available now.

The men's line includes pieces that are designed to enhance yoga practices at any level. The men's tees and tanks ($45-50) feature a longer hem so the shirt won't ride up and a slightly longer sleeve for additional mobility. Men's shorts are designed with a slimmer cut and straight opening so they'll stay in place during any movement from downward dog to headstands.

The collection does include training tights ($50) that can be worn alone or under shorts. The bottoms have a ribbed inset that stretches and provides ventilation for a dry and comfortable workout. For the anti-leggings, the yoga training pants ($65) are a little roomier with a tapered leg and elastic waistband.

The women's collection features seamless silhouettes, higher neck options and some seriously stylish designs.

Now before you dismiss this line assuming yoga is just stretching or start having cold sweats about the thought of wearing men's leggings, you should understand the real training benefits yoga can bring to your golf game.

To demonstrate the benefits of yoga for training, Nike enlisted a few of their top athletes to be a part of the campaign, including NBA players Kevin Love and Channing Frye, the NFL's Larry Fitzgerald and Khalil Mack and WNBA's Alana Beard. Chicago Bears' Mack says he was introduced to yoga in college and attributes his explosiveness on the field to the flexibility gained from yoga. He also depends on the exercise for injury prevention. Kevin Love says he also benefits from the mental side of yoga and its ability to ground him.

No golfers were officially part of the launch, but we've been on record in stressing how yoga can improve your golf game.. Yoga can improve core stability, overall strength, body awareness, flexibility and range of motion—all key tenets of a strong golf swing, says Senior Director of Performance at Nike, Ryan Flaherty. Many poses in yoga are designed to identify weaknesses and with continued practice, improve on those weaknesses, Flaherty adds.

“With a golf swing, you’re repeatedly powering through a movement in one direction, depending on if you’re left-handed or right-handed. Over time, this can result in asymmetry, imbalance and potentially injury," Flaherty says. "This is where yoga is especially relevant for golfers, as it’s a workout that targets both sides of your body, through different ranges of motion and multiple planes of movement equally."

The Nike Training Club app will also be debuting a new collection of yoga workouts in the "enhance your training with yoga" collection aimed at helping all athletes reach new levels of athletic performance and mental strength.