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Martial Arts and Yoga

Yoga derives its strength from its ancient Indian (Sanskrit) roots. Although martial arts are diverse in their disciplines, they all operate on the same principles as yoga. I’ll explain why and how yoga and martial arts are related in this article.

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Because the former speaks of benevolence and compassion, society has a propensity to place yoga and martial arts on opposing pedestals. The latter, on the other hand, focuses on defeating the opponent in order to win a duel or fight.

On the surface, it may appear that two poles are at odds, but upon deeper inspection, it is possible to conclude that some aspects of martial arts were evolved from yoga, and that they complement each other in more ways than one.

Contrary to popular assumption, martial arts was created as a self-defense mechanism and was introduced to Buddhist monks by their sensei because their desire for spiritual achievements overshadowed their physical progress.

A form of martial arts was devised to strengthen these monks so that they could play with their minds as well as fight in times of necessity. Yoga, on the other hand, dates back to pre-Vedic periods and was first introduced to the world by Lord Shiva, the AdiYogi. It has been passed down to us as a legacy since then.

When contrasted, these two creative styles have a lot more in common than meets the eye. Let’s look at a few aspects that are crucial in the practice of martial arts and yoga:

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Focus

Yoga’s virtuosity to focus is one of the fundamental qualities of the practice. The practitioner is asked to walk on the razor’s edge in terms of body movements, breath, look, and body locks.

For a yogi to become adept, the alignment of the body must be in sync with a variety of other factors. Furthermore, the regular rhythmic pattern of breathing draws attention to oneself and extends concentrate time.

Martial arts, on the other hand, demand the practitioner to gather their chi and focus their concentration inwards in order to confront a critical circumstance in which even a minor misstep might hurl the performer back during a fight.

Any of the two would create superfluous ripples with no real-time impact if performed without focus and understanding. This is why, in both yoga and martial arts, concentration is essential.

Balance

The balancing test comes in the form of tiny, everyday chores. The strength with which we retain our core determines whether we succeed or fail.

Both in martial arts motions and when moving through Ashtanga Vinyasa, we keep our core with us. Surya Namaskars, for example, demand a significant level of balance to flow from Chaturanga Dandasana (the four-limbed staff pose) to Adho Mukhasavasana (Downward Facing Dog) and then to Urdhva Mukhasavasana (Upwards Facing Dog) in Ashtanga Yoga.

Yoga’s balancing postures, such as Eagle Pose and Tree Pose, teach the art of balancing at every step. The practitioner of a martial art must keep their center while throwing demanding moves at their opponent.

The constant mobility and dynamic environment necessitate a thorough grasp of space and action, as well as core and strength expertise.

Flexibility

The flexibility of the body is essential in any martial art, whether it is Muay Thai, Kung Fu, Karate, Aikido, or any other.

At the same time, regardless of style, we must have alignment, flexibility, and focus in order to do each asana to its maximum potential.

To accomplish the Half Moon Pose, for example, we need enough flexibility to go all the way down to place the hand on the floor.

The hamstrings, as well as flexible torso muscles, breath movement, and attention, should be open and stretched.

The continual change of position in martial arts, such as defense methods such as ducking, shin blocks, elbow blocks, and so on, needs strength, flexibility, and mental focus.

From the most basic moves like punches or jabs to the most difficult, all of them have flexibility at their foundation.

Breath

Any type of physical exercise necessitates a significant volume of oxygen flow in the body, which necessitates an increase in lung capacity.

The lungs are enlarged and their capacity is increased by pranayama exercises. Any kind of pranayama, such as Bellow’s breath or Alternate Nostril Breathing, aids in the delivery of more oxygen to each and every cell in the body.

As a result, there is more energy available to perform and keep up with the art form.

Martial arts works by making sounds called kiai or using the breath in a precise way to draw power and energy into the moves.

Additionally, rapid carbon dioxide exhale results in significant oxygenation of blood flow. Apart from that, Kiai can also be used to signify victory in a fight and the desire to win.

As a result, we can claim that breathing is important for creating energy, gathering energy, promoting our aura, and maintaining good health.

Both of the creative genres we’ve discussed in depth above come to the same conclusion: they’re intertwined.

While practicing one can help us improve our grasp on the other, regardless of which one the practitioner chooses, he or she will be able to master breath, bodily flexibility, increase alignment, establish balance, and develop unmatched focus.

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