How 49ers' George Kittle will benefit from offseason yoga sessions with sister

How 49ers' George Kittle will benefit from offseason yoga sessions with sister

SANTA CLARA — Along with speed and strength training, 49ers tight end George Kittle practiced yoga with his sister, Emma, as part of his offseason workout program in Nashville, Tenn.

"I actually hit about three straight weeks of yoga, which was really fun,” Kittle said this week as 49ers training camp opened. “Slightly more flexible. Can’t you tell I’m limber now?”

Kittle believes that increased flexibility could help as a preventative measure in regards to injuries during the season.

“[It's better] the more flexible you can get, because sometimes when you get tackled, you land in awkward positions and stuff like that,” Kittle said. “I have learned that when you’re more flexible, stuff like that doesn’t happen sometimes, where you just kind of tweak something. Hopefully, that will help me to stay healthy.”

While yoga was a new addition to Kittle’s offseason program, he has practiced with his sister for a few years.

“It’s just something that I’ve done in the past that I feel has worked for me,” Kittle said. “My sister is a yoga teacher, so it makes it pretty easy for me. It’s in house.

“I wanted to add something. I don’t like to do the same thing over and over. If you stay the same, you’re not getting better. So I just tried to add something in, and I think that helped me out a little bit.”

“We’ve been doing yoga together since he was a senior at Iowa,” Emma said. “At this point, it’s pretty easy to see what’s going on with his body. Based off how he is feeling in a particular day, we modify our sessions accordingly.”

Emma worked alongside Josh Cuthbert, her brother’s strength coach, and Jeremy Holt, who worked on his speed. With the combined regimen, Emma noticed that after a few weeks, her brother’s flexibility had increased.

“I definitely saw a change in George’s body over our time together in Nashville,” Emma said. “Three weeks is kind of quick to notice a big change in flexibility, but he left for camp saying he felt better than he ever had before.”

“George’s strength and speed coaches were great about including me in their workouts. George’s entire training process was coordinated between the three of us to make sure we maximized our time with him.”

Emma teaches a sports performance variation of yoga, but the challenges for many of her clients are still about them taking their speed down several notches.

“George’s biggest challenge in his yoga practice is probably the same as every other athlete I work with — making time to slow down and be in a relaxed environment,” Emma said. “But one of his skills is being present in everything he does. He’s a pro, so he is always locked in. 

“There are so many benefits for any athlete who incorporates yoga to their training routine. Finding ease in stressful situations is what I focused on with George. We did a lot of breathwork and long prop supported holds. Slowing down movements is a great way to enhance mobility and also target core strength and stability."

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It all sounds like serious work, but the two still enjoyed their time training together.

“He’s still my little brother, so we laugh a lot during our sessions,” Emma said.

Chiefs vs. Titans live stream: How to watch AFC Championship online, on TV

Chiefs vs. Titans live stream: How to watch AFC Championship online, on TV

It's been a long year for the Kansas City Chiefs and the fans that cheer them on each week.

Last year, the team couldn't make it to the big game, and they're praying history doesn't repeat itself when they take on the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

They'll have their work cut out for them having to face Derrick Henry. In the regular season, the running back averaged 102.7 yards per game with 18 total touchdowns. 

The Titans' run game could play a huge role in the possible success of the team.

The Chiefs, however, come into the matchup amidst a seven-game winning streak and are the favorites to advance to the Super Bowl against either the Green Bay Packers or the 49ers.

The Niners host the Packers Sunday for the NFC title game in a matchup that will have Jimmy Garoppolo facing someone he used to root for in college.

An old tweet resurfaced of Jimmy G cheering on Aaron Rodgers years ago in an NFC-division game that added to a warm-fuzzy storyline feeling. And the 49ers will do it with an advantage of no additional injuries heading into the game.

[RELATED: How Jimmy G compared self to Rodgers before draft]

Two of these four teams will head to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

Here's how you can watch Sunday's AFC Championship matchup as the Chiefs host the Titans:

Start time: Sunday, Jan. 19, at 12:05 p.m. PT
TV Channel: CBS
Live StreamfuboTV -- Get a free trial

49ers vs. Packers live stream: How to watch NFL playoff game online, on TV


49ers vs. Packers live stream: How to watch NFL playoff game online, on TV

The 49ers have a golden opportunity to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 2013.

With a win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at Levi's Stadium, the 49ers would head to Miami for Super Bowl LIV to take on the winner of the Tennesee Titans-Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship Game.

San Francisco opened as seven-point favorites, but that number has risen to -7.5 in recent days.

Injuries hampered the 49ers for most of the season, but they will enter the game against the Packers with a clean bill of health. Similarly, the Packers only have one player listed on their injury report.

Back in Week 12, the 49ers thrashed the Packers, 37-8, in Santa Clara. But no one is expecting San Francisco to cakewalk over Green Bay this time.

In that Nov. 24 matchup, vaunted 49ers defense held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to 198 yards of total offense. Rodgers completed 20 of 33 passes for just 104 yards. San Francisco will need another performance like that in order to play on Sunday, Feb. 2 in sunny Florida.

[RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Packers]

Here's how to watch the 49ers-Packers NFC Championship Game:

When: Sunday, Jan. 19 at 6:40 p.m. ET/3:40 p.m. PT
Stream: Fox Sports; fuboTV -- Get a free trial

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (6 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday)

Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 6:30 p.m.