Baseball & Yoga: An American Pairing

The San Francisco Giants open up its outfield for the first annual Yoga Day at the Park!
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The San Francisco Giants open up its outfield for the first annual Yoga Day at the Park!

The words “yoga and baseball” don’t quite roll off the tongue like “peanut butter and jelly,” but the pairing is more common than you might think—not only on the page but on the field. The Florida Marlins practice yoga. The Los Angeles Dodgers practice yoga. (Former Dodger and now Yankee catcher Russell Martin even said, in a 2009 Los Angeles Times article, "Yoga and baseball, they go hand-in-hand.") And Yoga Journal has written about the benefits of the practice for players of all ball sports.

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But a yoga class held for the public on a pro baseball field? Yep, it’s on—and happening in San Francisco, a city as passionate about yoga as it is about baseball.

To show some love to the city's vibrant yoga community, the San Francisco Giants are holding the first annual Yoga Day on Sept. 5. Starting with a morning yoga class taught by hugely popular San Francisco teacher Janet Stone on the gorgeous AT&T Park outfield, which overlooks the San Francisco Bay, the event also includes admission to that evening's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Giants have also invited Michael Franti of Spearhead, one of the yoga world’s preeminent musical talents, to provide musical accompaniment for the class. The boho, pop-reggae-world icon is a huge Giants fan and even reworked one his band’s songs, "Say Hey (I Love You)," to be an homage to the Giants after the team won the 2010 National League Championship. (The new song was titled "Say Hey (I Love You, Giants)" and featured references to various players.) Franti’s gigs almost always support a cause, and the proceeds from this event will benefit his nonprofit Power to the Peaceful Foundation, an organization that promotes cultural co-existence and environmental sustainability through the arts and music.

"Being able to host this event on our field will be a special way to combine yoga and baseball for both our respective fans," says Faham Zakariaei, director of special events for the Giants.

No word yet on whether any of the players will join the fun, but Stone welcomes it. "Certainly baseball and the fan could benefit from the limitless benefits of yoga," she says.

The $50-85 ticket will also include a meet and greet with Stone and Franti and—get this—a limited-edition Giants yoga mat. Play ball!

 Get tickets and more information here.