What is the main purpose of Yoga?
The goals of Yoga have a lot in common with some of the Kung Fu’s ones:
- Body harmony – Flexibility, health, wellness, etc.
- Mental harmony – Centeredness, detachment, etc.
Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).
These 2 directions are naturally connected but:
- The first is pursued through the practice of stretching exercises (combined with the right breathing, read How to correctly perform stretching)
- The second is pursued through meditation (self-knowledge, etc., read A meditation mini-guide: how to start)
In this article, we want to talk about the secrets that make Yoga so incredibly effective to transfer them into our martial practice (no matter if we are more focused on combat or on wellness).
A note by Master Kongling – It is not a coincidence that we talk about this discipline: at the dawn of Shaolin Temple, Bodhidharma came to China (from India) to spread his knowledge and with his help, the development path of Kung Fu has started.
Why is Yoga so effective?
These are the winning keys of the Yoga practice.
Physical body stretching:
- Never force the body to flexibility – In relation to other methods the stretching tension is less intense but the results are the highest possible; even if for martial arts the things change a bit (read Body flexibility and martial arts), at an advanced level, we talk about contortionism
- Use of breathing as a stretching tool – In terms of elongation, the goal is obtained not through a pure external tension but also through a perfectly calibrated extension and compression of our lungs; this allows us to work more deeply and widely on our flexibility
- Detailed self-knowledge – Yoga gradually teaches us to listen to ourselves; noticing how we are before and after each specific practice, we become more and more precisely aware of our internal and external conditions (with the time, we understand always better till where we can go and how)
- Mental detachment through concentration on breathing – To truly be able to empty the mind is a too high level of result (a goal of few), that can instead be “simulated” focusing on a perfect breathing; the mind focuses on a specific task that occupies it and automatically all distractions vanish
- Use of the power of visualization – Often (but not necessarily) the practice of Yoga is accompanied by relaxing music, guides that allow us to use the effectiveness of mental anchors (read Fighting and mind control: the anchors) that are already in our mind (positive moments, reassuring places, etc.)
- A slow, positive pace – All the compositive elements of our body are connected and if we slow down our mind, we consequently work on our heart, blood pressure, muscle tension, etc.
A few conclusive thoughts:
- Naturally, Yoga is not only this but especially at the beginning, these aspects make all the difference (in terms of relaxation capability and flexibility) if compared to other types of approaches
- Yoga is so successful because it works right away, you don’t need to be an expert to get great benefits from it
- If we include in our Kung Fu sessions these principles (not only in terms of flexibility but also in relation to focus, etc.), the quality of our practice will rapidly increase
- Many people consider Yoga too far from martial arts, nothing could be more wrong
In-depth video courses
- COMBAT FLEXIBILITY: Tendons Transformation for MARTIAL ARTS – A video course about how to develop the right level of flexibility for combat
- Full Body STRETCHING EXERCISES – All the exercises you need to stretch your entire body
- Physical conditioning: how it works – The higher the purpose the higher the result
- The easiest method to do the side split – How to rapidly obtain a full side split
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- Have you ever tried Yoga?
Author: Master KonglingFounder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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