Guest Author - Caroline Baker
There are many supplement activities that a Martial Artist can do to strengthen and enhance their training. One that aligns nicely with that is Yoga.
Yoga is another Asian art that focuses on the body. It, however, is not categorized as a Martial Arts because there is no self-defense technique or application derived within the movements. What it does do though is strengthen the body, build flexibility, cultivate focus, and develop balance, all critical factors in any Martial Arts style.
For anyone who has never taken a Yoga class before, do not be deceived by the seemingly gentle movement. Each posture or movement a yoga practioner goes through helps to work the body in some aspect. And despite the relatively small number of movement, one can work up quite a sweat when done properly.
Many of the postures work on strengthening different parts of your body by using the natural resistance of gravity, such as plank position or downward dog. Other postures work on extending your flexibility and widening the range of motion, like cobra or triangle. Still others will work on your balance, like the any of the one-legged poses and the scorpion. All incorporate some level of learning how to breath during these movements, least you pass out from doing it incorrectly.
As you learn about Yoga, you will also learn about “strengthening the core”. The “core”, in physical fitness terms, refers to the hip and stomach area that gives you strength and balance. Every Martial Arts style uses the core in some shape, from the ability to hold out kicks and do high aerial work to working in combat with manipulation of motion to you favor.
In other to get the most out of Yoga as possible, it’s critical that postures are held, breathing is paid attention to, and the body is properly aligned. Therefore, it’s very helpful to learn Yoga with an instructor there, assuring you are doing the exercise correctly.
Each of us is built differently, thus our level of flexibility will differ. Some postures will be easier than others. Be careful to work only up to your own personal skill level.
For more information about Yoga, check out our Yoga Site here at BellaOnline.