Whereas combat sports are all about control, offence, and defense, yoga helps you find inner calm, serenity, and peace of mind. They may seem like total opposites, but surprisingly, they’re the perfect pair.
Do you practice jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, karate, boxing, or taekwondo? Whether you’re a beginner or black belt, consider adding a yoga sequence to your weekly routine to improve your performance, or simply to help your body reach its full potential.
Unsure About Yoga?
Some people have a negative view of yoga. Admittedly, your first yoga class might seem a little strange. Students sit calmly, breathe deeply, get into unusual poses, and chant in unison. Experienced yogis also tend to be impressively flexible!
But don’t let yourself be intimidated. Push any negative thoughts and assumptions aside. Yoga classes are filled with welcoming individuals who understand that everyone has to start somewhere.
Remember to keep an open mind. It’s not a competition! Don’t set any goals or expectations. If you focus on your well-being, you’ll make progress without even realizing it. Be kind to yourself.
Yoga is complementary to many sports. Whether you’re a hockey player, basketball player, skier, figure skater, runner, or combat athlete, yoga is ideal for improving your performance and flexibility.
Focus and calm
In addition to helping your body withstand impacts, yoga helps you stay cool and collected when facing an opponent. Combat sports require intense concentration and heightened awareness. You have to be ready to attack or defend, and practicing yoga can help. You’ll be much more focused as you try to avoid being hit or try to land a punch. Plus, you’ll learn to control your impulsivity. Yoga practice brings a clearer, calmer state of mind.
In combat sports, your muscles work extremely hard, especially your leg muscles. Yoga can loosen you up and ease stiffness. Adding a yoga session to your routine is a great way to alleviate soreness and stretch your whole body after combat training. Expanding your muscles makes them more supple, which can help prevent injuries.
Before jumping into the ring, why not start with a sun salutation? Yoga has both physical and psychological benefits. It’s well known for promoting a sense of well-being and calm, but when you practice regularly, you can attain even higher levels of tranquility—what yogis call spiritual balance. This can help you in many aspects of your life.
How to Incorporate Yoga Into Your Routine
It’s best to start your practice with someone who has yoga experience. In a virtual or in-person class, the instructor will correct your poses to ensure you get the full benefit without injuring yourself. No matter where you choose to practice, the important thing is to find a comfortable space where you can focus, quiet your mind, and enjoy 30 to 60 minutes that are just for you.
When practicing at home, you can play soft music and diffuse essential oils or burn incense. Do whatever helps you relax.
Types of Yoga
There are many types of yoga, so don’t hesitate to try out a few to figure out which one you like best. Hatha yoga is a good place to start. It’s one of the oldest forms of yoga and focuses on muscle strengthening through a combination of poses, breathing exercises, and meditation. Vinyasa yoga is more dynamic and involves moving from one pose to the next, in one continuous flow. It’s a great way to get your heart pumping and release tension.
Have fun exploring!