NFL star Odell Beckham Jr.'s yoga instructor reveals the poses that make him a better athlete

Odell Beckham Jr. attends The 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
 Axelle/Bauer-Griffin | Getty Images 

New York Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. signed a record-breaking $95 million deal in August, making him the highest-paid wide-receiver in NFL history, as CNBC reported.

He's known to work out for up to three hours a day but he also does yoga to work on dexterity and flexibility in his training regime: "[I do] yoga, pilates. Yogilates... every day that I can," he told Men's Journal. "Ultimately, you're just stretching. You're getting your body stronger, stretched out and in flexible positions."

"Doing yoga helps him be a better athlete," Claire Grieve, a yoga instructor whose clients include Beckham, tells CNBC Make It.

"Every time Odell walks into a private yoga session, he is in a great mood, smiling, happy and positive. He loves music and often plays his playlists with me, sometimes dancing around with tricky moves in between his yoga poses," she says.

"I've never seen someone with such coordination! Personally, I think his positive attitude is his key to success."

Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the New York Giants warms up before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
 Mike Lawrie | Getty Images

Grieve says if it's a group yoga class, she's seen Beckham get a whole room of people dancing in between sets and that she has never seen anyone so excited to try a new hamstring stretch.

"When I work with Odell, we do a lot to stretch his hamstrings and hip flexors with poses like reclined big toe pose with a strap, pigeon pose and low lunge," Grieve says. "More than anything, these poses help him to prevent back injuries. We also work on his core strength. All movement starts in the the core, so poses like plank can really have benefits on the field."

 Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 9, 2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Jim McIsaac | Getty Images 

Grieve says Beckham is dedicated to improvement.

"He will try anything that may help him be a better player, on and off of the field. He works really hard to refine his yoga skills. I think you can really see these skills appear in his game. ... [Y]oga helps to build balance, stability and core strength by working athletes' bodies and minds in a completely different way than their day-to-day routine.

"Yoga is also a great tool for relaxing and recharging.... The meditative component of yoga can improve sleep, reduce stress and I believe helps athletes achieve on-field goals through visualization."

Grieve always uses several yoga poses with athletes: Warrior 2 and Warrior 3 both help with focus, full body strength and balance; plank pose strengthens the core; and pigeon is a hip opener. "Doing these poses for just 30 seconds at a time can help," she says.

These poses work for everyone, not just athletes, especially those who sit at a desk all day.

"I think it's important for people to move as much as possible if you stay sitting all day. Your systems and energy become stagnant, which has all sorts of health implications. From a mindfulness perspective, it's also really important to take breaks during the day to release tension and breathe."

Grieve says there are yoga poses you can do without leaving your desk, like cat/cow, seated pigeon pose, downward dog with your hands on the desk, seated twist in the chair, wrist stretch and neck rolls. "It's also great to just stand up and take a five-minute walk or stretch every once in a while," Grieve says.

A representative for Odell Beckham Jr. did not respond to a request for a comment.

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