Johnson credits 'hot yoga' for better shape

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets swingman Joe Johnson says he’s as light as he’s been since his early days in Boston and Phoenix.

But how?

It's simple: Yoga. Specifically “hot yoga.”

“I’m a yoga head,” Johnson said Saturday, following the team’s first day of training camp. “I’m a hot yoga head.”

Johnson, listed at 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, was 225 pounds in his final season with the Suns (2004-05), according to basketballreference.com.

So, what is hot yoga? It’s essentially a style of yoga performed in a room well above body temperature -- approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit, to be exact.

“Doing that, you lose anywhere from 600-1,000 calories a session,” Johnson said. “I've been pretty much going every day. So just kind of, you know what you get. But I feel good.”

Johnson has played 35,692 minutes in his 13 seasons in the NBA. In 2013-14, he missed just three games. He averaged 21.2 points on 53.3 percent shooting in 39.1 minutes during the playoffs.

Johnson explained how he got started with hot yoga. “When I was in Atlanta, my trainer, Wally Blase, I used to have tendinitis bad, I had Achilles problems, and he told me him and his wife had done it, and that I should come try it with him one day,” Johnson said. “I kind of brushed him off until I had to start missing games. So then I tried it, and I fell in love with it, I've been doing it ever since.”

So how does the weight loss help?

“It makes you more nimble, faster, quicker, maybe more explosive,” Johnson said. “You don't put a lot of wear and tear on your joints, your knees, your ankles, and the older you get, man, you really have to look out for that.”

Weight loss is all the rage in the NBA these days, with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony at the forefront.

“I think as you get older you do need to lose some weight and be in better shape,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. “When you’re young, you can be out of shape longer and get in shape faster. When you’re older it takes a lot longer to get in shape, and the longer it takes you to get in shape, also leads to possible injuries.”