An NHL Team Is Offering Its Fans Free Yoga To Cope With Playoff Stress

The Washington Capitals want to help fans relax

Image via Washington Capitals

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a stressful time. For players and fans, so much is on the line. Hockey players have dreamt of hoisting Lord Stanley’​s Cup above their heads in victory since childhood, while fans hope upon hope that they’​ll get to see their team skate the most coveted trophy in sports around the ice as they’re crowned the NHL’​s best team. But for Washington Capitals fans, that annual stress has grown into soul-clenching dread.

It has practically become a rite of spring for the Capitals to enter the playoffs as one of the best teams in the league and then watch them flame out in heartbreaking fashion. It’​s the fact they’​re so good and that they have one of the league best players—three-time MVP Alex Ovechkin—that ​makes it so frustrating for fans. Just look at headlines from the last few years of early playoff exits:

Yikes. That’s grim. No wonder Caps fans seem a little tense around this time of year. As if sensing the need to ease their fans’ psychic burden, the team has come up with a solution: free yoga.

The Capitals created a program called Playoff Stress Yoga, where the morning of each game during the Stanley Cup run, they’ll host a 6:30 a.m. yoga session at the team’​s training facility. Fans are able to do some down dog and child’​s pose, led by instructor Kelly Moore, who also works with players throughout the season. But Moore plays down the team’s acknowledgement of the fans’​ existential dread.

“The whole de-stress—we mean that tongue and cheek,” Moore told the Washingtonian. “We just want to get the fans involved, and it’s just our way of getting them involved in the playoffs’ excitement.”

It hasn’t been all excitement so far this playoff season. Caps fans already needed to enter a deep state of physiological and psychological relaxation when the team got off to a rocky start. They lost some heartbreaking games in the first round and the old anxiety returned. But the team was able to right themselves and defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games. Now they will now face their hated rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, which means another round of yoga that people can sign up for here.

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