Several months ago, I started practicing yoga to supplement my BJJ and Muay Thai training. I’ve been exposed to a variety of yoga classes, but I’ve primarily practiced hot and yin (restorative) yoga. Go try a free class with our friends at CorePower!
A series of mostly one-legged balancing poses along with some stretching and spine-strengthening exercises. More on hot yoga can be found here.
Yin (Restorative) Yoga
Prolonged, deep stretching. Little to no strain in terms of putting muscles to work. Not to say there won’t be effort and/or discomfort involved.
Yoga for Muay Thai
I’ve found hot yoga to be very helpful with my Muay Thai training, especially the balance aspect. In Muay Thai, a lot of time is spent balancing on one foot, whether it’s to throw a kick, knee, or just to pick up a check.
Yoga for BJJ
Not only am I staying on my feet more easily, I have found that practicing balancing poses has strengthened the overall stability of my legs, which has aided in my recovery from multiple knee injuries. I’d say the most I get out of Yoga in terms of my jiu-jitsu training is the flexibility that comes from all the stretching.
Yoga for BJJ and Muay Thai
Besides balance and flexibility, yoga also cultivates breath and focus (which both definitely improve upon BJJ and Muay Thai). Many times when I fall out of a yoga pose, I notice that I’m holding my breath trying to strain to maintain the pose. One of my yoga teacher talks about “breathing into the pose” and exerting an “effort in ease.” This has helped me remain calm and not work any muscles that aren’t working for me, which in turn makes me more relaxed and usually results in better martial arts training results. Yoga not only improves focus on the breath, but overall focus and awareness. Holding a one-legged pose for a minute is harder than it sounds, and it requires the tuning out of a lot of extraneous noises/thoughts/sights. This has helped me dive fully into training when I am practicing jiu-jitsu or Muay Thai. If you’re interested in learning more about BJJ or Muay Thai, check out these valuable resources available at Easton’s website.