Why Does Yoga Matter For Combat Sports? This fact might surprise you, but do you know there are infinite yoga moves specially designed for combat sports. Before we get into that, we would like to address your curiosity about why yoga matters for combat sports?
Well, the answer is simple and short. Yoga works very well to strengthen and make your body flexible, improving your balance and mobility while improving your body-mind coordination. All this plays a very crucial role for combat athletes.
Most people assume that yoga practice is for young girls who are fond of practicing flexible gymnastics. Its association with femininity makes its benefits a little surprising for combat athletes. Yoga is widely used as a practice for complimenting martial art fitness. It isn’t an odd combination. These activities are tied to each other.
You might see both of these activities opposite to each other. Still, they both are performed for achieving the height of mind-body mastery. It’s something that practitioners of both arts seem to strive for. The prime reason for the misunderstanding of Yoga being too passive is the hidden physical benefits that aren’t that apparent. Undoubtedly it helps in relaxing the body and mind. It has been in practice for centuries in India for boosting not just mental but physical fitness.
How is Yoga effective for combat athletes?
It does not matter in what physical activity you have engaged yourself. Whether it’s boxing, muay Thai or simply washing the dishes, both sides of your body- left & right rarely engaged in the same activity. Yoga helps a lot in catching the imbalances among both sides of your body & provides the right means of balancing both sides out.
The yoga poses allow your body to hold the same postures and stretches for certain periods on both sides of your body. It allows the practitioner to get to know the difference between both sides. The strengths and weaknesses on either side. Almost all combat sports require you to make similar motions repetitively.
I.e., boxers are supposed to punch forward & push away their bodies. Muay Thai grapplers constantly pull the opponent closer to them while wearing their muay Thai gloves.
Practicing Yoga helps prevent injury as you stretch your full body frequently & use the muscles that get ignored while performing combat sports. Yoga is the safe training method that lets a fighter train without the risk of inducing injury & strengthening the already injured area. Combat Fighters are seen as very passionate about the combat sport they practice.
Why would anyone sign up for getting punched in their face or get a solid kick in their ribs while training often? Their passion can end them getting overtrained. This might affect the fighters mentally as much as it harms them physically.
Yoga significantly highlights the activity you are engaged in at the moment. It opens you up to mindfulness, helping in focusing on the fight, not self-sabotage, by thinking about the areas they lack strength and power.
Yoga emphasizes the importance of both meditation & mantra. It can enable the fighter to visualize his success, be present mentally & emotionally. At the same time, they have engaged themselves in the fight. It helps in utilizing their energy in the most positive and effective ways.
Why Does Yoga Matter For Combat Sports?
Yoga helps in improving flexibility
We will start with the most obvious and biggest advantage that Yoga offers to its practitioners – Flexibility. All Yoga stretches and poses demand substantial flexibility. However, some of these poses are highly complicated. Yoga makes your body incredibly flexible.
A regular yoga practice can get up to 35% more flexible with just 8 weeks of yoga practice. Now we will address the importance of flexibility in combat sports. Irrespective of the fact which type of martial art you perform, flexibility is an integral trait.
The obvious flexibility which Yoga offers is one of the reasons which cause people to shy away from this activity. Yeah, we agree with the fact that some yoga poses might appear quite intimidating. Our way in the martial arts field. Having adequate flexibility significantly improves your combat skills.
Yoga Boosts your Core Strength
It’s commonly misinterpreted, especially among men, that Yoga is a feminine activity that is all about flexibility & meditation. It confuses people about this activity and the benefits it offers when it comes to building strength.
All those intricate and difficult yoga stretches make you guess it’s all about flexibility and mobility. Still, there’s much more which your eyes can not see at the moment. Getting into the yoga pose isn’t the actual deal. Still, the real difficulty comes when you have to hold those poses for certain time intervals.
It’s usually assumed about exercises and stretches that if it burns, it’s hitting the target. Well, that’s not always the case. But you can ensure that the burning cessation induced by sustaining a yoga pose is because of the strain and stress your muscles experience.
Holding those postures for extended periods helps in gaining core strength. A strength core develops real power in your punches and kicks. In sports like muay Thai and boxing, core strength is everything. If you lack, there’s no way you will sustain your position in the ring.
Yoga Secures the Joints
You do not necessarily have to be flexible before starting this incredible activity. It’s something you will gain with practice. Yoga poses make your body undergo impossible angles and bends. However, flexibility is a little more subtle.
Yoga pushes your body joints to their limits. It doesn’t only lengthen your torso but also develops leverage in your joints. This activity keeps the joints lubricated while keeping them strong & durable. Secure joints enable a martial artist to stand firm & strong at his position. And do not get carried away by the opponent’s blows so easily.
Yoga minimizes the recovery time
There’s no that Yoga works on your balance, coordination, strength, and mobility. At the same time, it makes your body less vulnerable to injuries by increasing body awareness. It not only speeds up the recovery process but prevents them from occurring in the first place.
No matter which martial art you practice, no matter how much protective gear you use, whether it’s boxing gloves or muay Thai shin pads. There is no way that your body will not be at the risk of getting injured.
After the martial arts session, a yoga practice class enables your muscles to relax by making your body undergo an anabolic state, from where it is subjected to recovery mode. By turning your relaxed mode on, Yoga will eliminate the stress that is an integral part of quick recovery. These benefits form the basis of combat sports.
Yoga Improves your Balance and Endurance
Apart from the flexibility, many yoga poses require you to maintain excellent balance for holding them up to a considerate amount of time, especially during dynamic stretches. This benefit helps a lot when it comes to maintaining your balance in the fighting ring.
Balance revolves around holding your center of gravity. The importance of holding your center in martial art class is undeniable. Yoga boosts body awareness that aids in maintaining solid balance.
Maintaining intricate and delicate yoga stretches isn’t a piece of cake. It induces a sheer amount of stress and strain on the muscles.
The boost in endurance isn’t just physical but mental as well. The true essence of combat sports lies in mental endurance. Suppose you’re mentally incapable of holding your opponent inside the ring no matter how strong your body is. In that case, it won’t make a difference.
Yoga Brings Mental Clarity
We have listed the physical benefits which resonate in combat sports and Yoga. But that’s not all that this captivity has offered to combat fighters. Yoga is not only a physical but mental meditation as well. Every pose and stretches of your practice while performing Yoga is ultimately the game of mind.
Yoga connects your body and mind with your soul through every breath you take. Every moment that is performed is connected with the practitioner’s breath, which means that your mind must be focused and clear for truly practicing this activity.
Consistent practice of Yoga teaches you how to calm your mind. While focusing on your breath as you move through poses seamlessly. Strong and fine mental clarity is required in the game of martial arts, particularly the fights done in the ring. A clear focus enables the fighter to overpower his opponent.
Yoga helps you in focusing on your moves
By meditation & breathing practices, Yoga instills you in improving the focus. Many yoga poses require a higher degree of flexibility, balance & endurance, and demand complete and sole focus for the pose to be executed perfectly.
What is your opinion about lacking focus while executing a martial art move? Lack of focus will leave you in every dangerous situation against your opponent in the fighting ring. Regular practice of Yoga improves your mental focus.