Yoga is typically not the first thing martial artists seek to diversify their training. This is unfortunate because yoga is one of the most effective and efficient ways to gain the strength and flexibility you’re looking for on the mat. Strikes become stronger, and the ability to break free from your opponent’s grip becomes easier. And if that’s not enough, yoga helps cultivate a clear mind that is prepared for any situation.
Here are a few reasons martial artists should practice yoga:
Flexibility Gives You Options
Most people see yoga as the practice of either sitting and breathing or twisting yourself into a human pretzel. While you can take the practice of yoga pretty far with these two characteristics, they are only pieces to a larger puzzle. Being super-flexible with no practical application for it is simply a party trick and bragging rights. But when applied to martial arts, flexibility can be a formidable defense against a tough opponent. It’s hard to hold on to someone that is used to moving in unconventional ways. Flexibility is body awareness, and that awareness creates options for escape that aren’t available to those with no training.
Strength in the Middle
Yoga practice is much more than stretching. As you move through a yoga practice, you strengthen the core muscles that stabilize your spine and hips. This stabilization lends itself to a fundamentally stronger body. The core is a focal point in yoga because it is about longevity and keeping the central nervous system protected. The side effect is that your core muscles develop continuously to allow kicks and strikes with more strength while finding yourself less vulnerable to your opponent’s attack.
Balance Is an Advantage
Complete systemic balance is the ultimate aim of a yoga practice. Physical and mental balance brings an ability to perceive situations with clarity and act with certainty. In martial arts, techniques are often outmatched by an opponent with a more complete sense of balance. They can assess and respond to aggression mentally, which allows for balanced and precise physical movement. The work put in to balance on the yoga mat is immediately applicable to competition on the tatami mat.
Ascendant Martial arts in Regina knows a well-rounded training routine is essential for overall success. Contact us to learn how to balance martial arts with other forms of training to achieve your goals and beyond.