When you think of the intensity of martial arts– whether Muay Thai, boxing or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu –yoga might not immediately come to mind as a great supplementary activity. They’re just too different, right? On the contrary, however, the mindfulness and calmness that yoga demands can actually be a tremendous benefit to your martial arts journey.
Martial arts is all about balance, from your nutrition to your training. Yoga offers the perfect ‘yin’ to martial arts’ ‘yang’, helping you to unlock full control of your body. Here are three great ways yoga can make you a more complete martial artist.
Yoga improves mind-body connection
The connection between your body and mind has been understood for a long time, however recent research over the past decades has scientifically determined the effect that emotional states can have on your physical body. Several studies have found that emotional stress can have a big impact on your nervous system, as well as your neuroendocrine (i.e. hormonal) function.
Yoga is a form of active meditation, combining the mindfulness that comes with controlled breathing with the physicality of stretching. The mindful movement and breathwork that is required in yoga activates the body’s ‘relaxation response’, and can take your nervous system out of the ‘fight or flight’ system. This is the perfect antidote to the physical and mental stresses that can come with martial arts, particularly leading up to competition. Yoga will help keep your mind and body calm, organised, and in conversation.
Yoga improves flexibility and balance
Probably the most obvious benefit of yoga is its ability to improve flexibility and balance. The stretching of your muscles and aligning of your body will significantly increase your range of motion and balance over time, which is particularly useful for kicks that require dexterity.
Many martial artists struggle with techniques requiring high levels of flexibility, including head kicks in Muay Thai and certain holds and guards in BJJ. Yoga is the perfect vehicle for helping your legs function effectively over a wide range of motion, while still maintaining balance.
Yoga is a great recovery exercise
The Ironfist Gym Brisbane takes our martial arts training seriously. We have developed a fantastic hard-working atmosphere where everyone is welcome to come in and give it their all. Training several times a week can certainly take its toll, however. As fun and exhilarating as martial arts are, recovery is equally important for developing into a complete martial artist. This is where yoga comes in! Yoga is a great, easy way to get one step ahead of the competition through active recovery, stretching out all those tight muscles and focussing on relaxation.
Cyndy, Ironfist’s yoga instructor, has a wealth of knowledge concerning all things yoga and martial arts, and will be able to help you work through any sore spots you might have picked up during the week.
The Ironfist Gym Brisbane is proud to host our yoga sessions with Cyndy each Sunday from 4pm to 5pm, which will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed for the week ahead.
Any questions? Ask away! We are happy to help.
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Address: 2/4 Devlan St, Mansfield QLD 4122
Phone: (+07) 0431 685 085
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