Yoga For Fighters; Phase Or Stretch?

The trend that never went away

Hussain and Mostafa during their Yoga session at Mysore Room. Credit: Mysore Room

The MMA fighter throws punches, kicks, gets taken down, lands on his back, narrowly escapes getting submitted. Wrestling based, Jiujitsu or Muay Thai based, they all go through this in a mixed martial arts fight where it ends either by scorecard, knockout or submission.

Can the MMA fighter get through one session of Yoga though? 

A combat sports athlete has to be strong enough to dominate the opponent, exert force and absorb impact and resist constant force. The MMA fighter has to be powerful, fast, smart, and have enough endurance to be able to perform at high level for five 5-minute rounds.

It’s no wonder fighters are now turning to Yoga for diversity in their conditioning and not just because its trending! Even our Monarchy fighters are now enjoying their Yoga sessions at Mysore Room. Yoga practitioners condition their bodies to a blend of dynamic strength training for increased cardiovascular fitness, agility, and body confidence. Sounds like and intense warm up already!

Yoga conditioning builds stamina, enhances range of motion, and improves aerobic capacity. Just the exact functional strength you would want in the cage! One of the more important aspects of Yoga that definitely helps any athlete; control over your breathing. With it, thinking and movement will keep you calm and prepared in a fight.  Yan and Manuel of Mysore Yoga Room have been helping our fighters adjust to these conditions. One of our fighters, Colleen Augustin has been going regularly twice a week and is adjusting well, learning  at her own pace and remembering her own sequence which helps in self practise and self improvement.

“I feel I require a lot of focus and awareness of my body in order to do it. It’s taught me how to control my breathing when my heart is racing and to stay calm and flow,” Colleen.

One member from our Pro MMA fight team, Mostafa Radi has also been adjusting to the Yoga flow. “It has helped me in so many ways especially in relieving my soreness and helping with my flexibility and balance and overall how my body feels after I like it a lot. Despite some sessions feeling like abit of a challenge, I walk out with my posture feeling right,”

One of our more senior yoga enthusiasts, MMA Fighter and owner of Monarchy MMA, Samir Mrabet has been practicing Yoga for afew years now. “It helped on recovery from BJJ training, from breathing in unknown positions, as soon as you get in an unknown position in BJJ. You stop treating it in a relaxed manner. Ashtanga helps you keep your breath and hence your focus in those positions. It clearly helped my flexibility, and recovery from all the spinal injuries I had. It is a strong yoga, you need to keep position for some time and longer if you want since it’s self-practice. The positions are not easy to keep balance and flexibility wise and you sweat alot during the session. It is clearly an active work out recovery. I also learned how to breath more deeply, I think we usually don’t know the full capacity of our lungs. During rolls in BJJ I found myself breathing calmly and deeply while my partners is breathing heavily. It is hard to explain with words but beside the gain in flexibility and recovery it the alignment of body and mind the martial artist need,” Samir Mrabet.

If you have ever doubted what Ashtanga Yoga can do for you, all we have to say is, try your first session with Yan and Manuel. You don’t have to be an MMA fighter do it!