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Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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December 20, 2007 11:57 PM

Seahawks and Yoga: It's Getting Hot in Herre...

Posted by Rod Mar

"It's getting hot in take of all your clothes..."
-- Nelly

I feel ya, Nelly. No, I REALLY feel ya.

Because when you're taking photos of "Hot Yoga", it gets hot in "therre".

How hot?

Try upwards of 105 degrees.

So hot you could fry an egg on a yoga mat.

Hotter than Scarlett Johanssen (take that, Jerry Brewer!).

So hot that my cameras immediately fogged up upon entering the studio (I had to wait over 30 minutes for them to acclimate).

Why was I there? My assignment was to photograph Seahawks linebacker Kevin Bentley, who does hot yoga once a week during the season as a way to recover his muscles and also increase his flexibility.

Of course, the day I was shooting was also the day of the heavy rains and flooding a couple of weeks ago, so I was dressed in jeans. Perfect clothing in which to stand for an hour in a virtual sauna.

Our terrific NFL writer Danny O'Neill was writing an interesting piece on how various players try to recover from a game and to prepare their bodies for the next week's contest. Some watch tv and play video games. Others, like Patrick Kerney, use a hyperbaric chamber.

But Bentley fell in love with hot yoga, and is convinced it pays off. Watching him, it was hard to argue anything but.

For a man listed as 6-0, 238 pounds, he's got balance and flexibility to spare. He's worked at it for months, and although he's fairly lithe for his size, he admits he has nowhere the yoga strength and flexibility that most of the others (predominantly young women) possess.

Here are some pictures I managed to make after defogging my equipment and wiping the sweat pouring down my face:

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 16-35mm/f2.8 lens @ 16mm, ISO 3200, 1/60th sec, f2.8)

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 16-35mm/f2.8 lens @ 16mm, ISO 3200, 1/60th sec, f2.8)

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 16-35mm/f2.8 lens @ 24mm, ISO 3200, 1/60th sec, f2.8)

And Patrick Kerney's hyperbaric chamber? Here's what it looks like. But be warned, if you want your own, you'll need a prescription from a doctor. He spends hours zipped up in this oversized, pressurized duffle bag, reading books and listening to his iPod. And no, Kerney's not claustrophobic:

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 16-35mm/f2.8 lens @ 17mm, ISO 640, 1/60th sec, f4.0)

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 16-35mm/f2.8 lens @ 16mm, ISO 640, 1/60th sec, f4.0)

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