In high school I was on the track and field team, then wrestled several months after. Every year it was the same formula, the running helped me build endurance to wrestle longer without getting tired. The two went hand in hand complimenting each others needed challenges, building an animal of an athlete that can withstand the long haul. The same goes for yoga and martial arts. Yoga enhances the fundamentals of one’s focus and awareness, which helps in the learning of new skills with abilities. Especially depending on which form of martial art, as some require years of attention with practice solely to just grasp the training techniques to now be able to actually train in the art properly. In other words, sometimes one must have to learn, how to learn the art, which is something I’ve grown very familiar with, especially when it came to learning, how to learn Wing Chun. Yoga creates a relationship between a person’s mind, body and soul which attributes to a different kind of mental strength. To be more mindful within one’s spirit, conditions the mind to be more mindful in a split second when needed from a reaction. It grants anyone the ability to be more in tune with their space. Martial arts is all about protecting the space so what better way to do so then with some extra added wizardry? The asanas in yoga will help in many physical aspects as one’s kicks would now be able reach farther and higher along with the arms being able to extend further with punches. After doing a 200-hour yoga teacher training course, I swear I grew taller! My body was as one would say, “elongated”, fully opened and stretched as opposed to the not so fully stretched version of a human going against gravity everyday sinking into themselves. I must have done well over a hundred sun salutations, as well has a hundred downward dogs. I also benefited from being able to sit still longer, to meditate, as that’s really what the asanas are meant to assist with. The yoga positions, especially the challenging ones, prepare the body to withstand sitting still for a long period of time. Sitting still to breath without thinking was the end result, which leads to endless possibilities filled with abundance.
During my yoga teacher training I spent a lot of time in the temple, which became my second home. I would sweep, mop, wash dishes, run the front counter, whatever was needed based on my capabilities. I basically worked there to pay half my tuition, to eventually start teaching yoga 3 nights a week, sometimes 4. I recruited a couple of yoga students to practice Wing Chun with me, and it worked out great! My graduation class was called “Warrior Yoga’ where i mixed the fundamentals of yoga with some Wing Chun techniques, in a room full of about 18 people. I would have done whatever it took to protect the temple, while my teachers had no idea. This was a place of love, peace, and harmony, however my heart was full of war.
Calming the mind creates a calm warrior which is what society needs as opposed to a ruthless killer who snaps every bullies neck. Some bullies, if not all, deserve to live another day so they can learn the lessons. A calm warrior is also the more powerful adversary for anyone, if to engage in a martial arts battle. I welcome any professional fighter to start taking yoga classes, if they haven’t do so already. I guarantee they will not regret it and wish they started sooner. It’s a martial art in itself, the practice of yoga, but since there is no violence associated with yoga, ethically, it’s better to include yoga with martial arts, than martial arts with yoga.