Buddhism

Yoga and Martial Arts

Yoga is one of the Asian arts that is associated with the body. It helps in strengthening one’s body, improving flexibility, cultivating concentration, building endurance and developing balance. But, it is not an offshoot of martial arts in that it is not a defensive movement. So, what is the link between Yoga and martial arts?

  • Flexibility
  • A high degree of flexibility is a vital factor in any kind of martial arts. If one wants to jump high, escape grabs and switch position quickly, one needs to move flexibly. Yoga is an efficient way of developing flexibility throughout the whole body, since it has lots of stretches that are highly sophisticated to increase levels of flexibility.

  • Core Balance
  • For martial artists, core balance and stability are vital, since they help in collecting strength and power throughout the body. By performing yoga, one’s core muscles can be strengthened.

  • Endurance
  • Endurance for martial arts can be practiced through the performance of yoga, since the practice of yoga uses one’s whole lung capacity, diaphragm and breath to control one’s positions and movements.

  • Relaxation
  • Yoga teaches one how to relax in different positions, how to use muscles to hold the posture and how to release unnecessary tension deep in the body. The capability of relaxing is a critical factor for martial arts.

  • Concentration
  • Concentration and focus are vital for a martial artist. Once involved in fighting, one is supposed to keep one’s mind clear and calm, so as to combat successfully. The practices of Yoga have some psychological benefits in refining one’s mind.

Yoga can benefit martial arts of all styles and it is widely considered as the foundation for martial arts. Yoga is a gentle practice, the opposite of martial arts which need high stress of whole body. But, they are linked together and may become one in the future.

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