Nike Pitches Yoga as Fitness Tool, Not Lifestyle, With New Line

Nike Inc. wants you to do yoga, but not at the expense of all those miles you run.

The athletic-wear brand is releasing a new apparel collection created specifically for yoga, including its first ever men’s yoga line. Nike’s enlisting a group of professional athletes to push the yoga-specific T-shirts, shorts and leggings, which hits stores globally this month.

Nike had previously shied away from directly battling Lululemon Athletica Inc. on its own turf — the yoga mat. This push now pits Nike and Lululemon firmly against each other, though Nike’s not going full spiritualism and granola. Rather than leaning into yoga as a primary form of exercise, it’s touting the practice as a component of a wider workout regimen so gym rats can become more flexible, reduce recovery time and transfer movement patterns to the field.

Nike Pitches Yoga as Fitness Tool, Not Lifestyle, With New Line

As a result, the faces of Nike yoga aren’t typical yoga influencers. Instead, yoga is being billed as a “secret workout weapon” to prepare athletes such as NFL linebacker Khalil Mack for when he’s slamming into opposing quarterbacks on the gridiron, WNBA player Alana Beard as she’s knocking down jump-shots and sprinter Christian Coleman while he’s jetting down the track. The company will also release in January new yoga workouts on its app.

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