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Poplar Bluff High school athletes using yoga to stretch before games

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POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

You might expect high school kids to be more interested in Yoda-not Yoga.

But in Poplar Bluff, high school athletes are trying some pretty unique moves before they suit up.

Basketball players in have discovered before they hit the court, they often perform better at if they hit the mat first.

"It just helps relax you and stretches your muscles," said Junior Varsity player, Ridge Hester. "Usually I come here and then I go to the game and I play pretty well."

Hester is one of about half a dozen players that have become regulars at the school's Yoga Club. It's part of the grant funded Healthy Living Club.

Heartland News also caught up with Varsity Junior, Lucas Tibbs.

"I feel better, I think it will help," said Tibbs.

Tibbs and Hester say the life of a busy athlete can be stressful.

"There's a lot on our plates," said Tibbs.

They've discovered this is a perfect way to relax not only your muscles but your mind.

"It's nice to think about absolutely nothing," said Tibbs.

"It really helps get you focused," said Hester. "It really stretches you."

"The kids are excited about it," said club sponsor, Charles Harper. Harper says besides Yoga, the Healthy Living Club will soon add a spinning class and other elements like cooking.

"As we continue to hear so much about the obesity rates going up we felt we wanted to do something to instill some good habits," said Harper.

Harper encourages not just the basketball team, but all students to give Yoga and the other clubs a try. Tuesday several dozen students attended.

"You definitely get a workout," said Heather Siebert. "I have a knee disease and my bones tilt and yoga really helps strengthen the muscles."

"It's beyond relaxing, "said Matthew Dowd. "Sometimes it's nice to just sit down and relax."

As for the basketball players, they head straight from the mat to the hardwood. They say they soak up every moment of Zen before heading to the high energy court.

"I love the last part of class where we just lay down and get our minds right," said Tibbs.

It looks like the Yoga Club may indeed be effective. Tuesday after the class, both JV and Varsity teams went on to turn in wins over Dexter.

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