Chugiak's Mustangs turn to yoga for direction, reflection
Chugiak High School football's to do list:
Special teams. Check.
Yes. Every Monday, the Mustangs find their drishti (finding your gaze, focusing your attention) and strike the simple and not-so-simple poses of the spiritual, physical and mental exercises which began in India and have been used for thousands of years. Head coach Roger Spackman sees the positive in it.
"As I watch them doing some of those last poses they did today, most of our kids couldn't even come close to doing those at the beginning of the year." said Spackman.
The class is taught by Mary McCormick, a team mother who owns the All is Life Yoga studio in Eagle River.
"Yoga is this amazing physical practice, but it has these layers. It makes it a little bit vulnerable going, 'Wow, I can't actually balance like I thought I could,' or, 'This is going to help my flexibility so I can create space in my body and just feel better.'"
Junior Carter Newell is sold.
"It helps keep you from getting hurt," he said. "I think it's good for us."
The 9-0 Mustangs face Bartlett in a state semifinal Friday.
It's doubtful they'll be seen in an "exalted warrior" or "third eye chakra" pose own Friday. But they have balance. And inner peace.
And their passing game is good too.