Yoga For BJJ
To the outsider, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Yoga couldn’t be more different. One seems to be focused on harming your opponent, while the other is repairing yourself.
Upon closer inspection however, it can become obvious how much the two pair well together. Attention to detail and precise technique are essential in each practice, and using them in conjunction can have great results on many aspects of your grappling game as well as your everyday life. Using the vast differences as well as the multiple similarities between yoga and jiu jitsu can severely affect your ability to follow through on the mats. This can be especially helpful on days you aren’t able to get to the gym, or don’t have a partner. You don’t need a partner for yoga! What are some of the aspects of your grappling game that you can improve via yoga?
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1) Flexibility: So many submissions are based on pushing passed a comfortable range of motion. The more flexible your joints become, the harder it will be for your opponent to succeed in getting you to tap. There are also various submissions that are difficult to achieve as the attacker without a good deal of flexibility and yoga will open the door to these as well.
2) Core Strength: Yoga consists of a series of held positions with focused and deliberate transitions between them. These flow sessions engage your entire body, especially your core and trunk muscles. This strengthens and tones without adding on a lot of bulk to your frame. The longer your sessions become in yoga, or the longer you hold positions, the more muscle endurance you will accrue. The increase in muscle connection will also give you a higher level of body awareness and preconception while rolling in Jiu Jitsu.
3)Breath: Yoga is a very deliberate exercise and involves control over your mind, body and breath as a unit. Being aware of your breathing patterns and how they are affecting your body can be immensely useful during grappling. Knowing when to breathe in or out during body movements can help you with explosivity or relaxation in various situations.
4)Recovery: Jiu Jitsu is a very active sport, whether you are in a contracted passive position or an extended and engaged one. Your body is fully involved during the entire match or drill, which can put a lot of stress on your muscles and joints. Often times we are crouched with our backs rounded and our hips are pulled in tight, which can lead to bad posture or musculoskeletal imbalances. Yoga achieves the opposite, elongating your muscles and teaching you how to relax your body for improved balance.
Josh Stockman is a brilliant Yoga and Jiu Jitsu practitioner that has developed a specific course of yoga for jiu jitsu. The flow and poses focus on complementary and supplementary positions in order to reach your highest potential on the mats. He suggests daily stretching and basic yoga flow, as well as incorporating it into your grappling routine on top of warm ups and cool downs. Teaching your body to sustain these positions, mental focus and endurance can lengthen your career and help prevent injuries. If you’re consistently injured due to tight muscles, lack of flexibility or body imbalance, you should seriously consider adding yoga to your life!
Grappling With Yoga is the best resource for you to have longevity in the sport of BJJ. Relieve chronic pains, soreness, and anything that bothers you on a day to day basis from training BJJ.
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