When I talk about self-defense, I talk about all the things that can help us defend ourselves, both physically and mentally. That means first aid is self-defense, but even things that both help our minds and protect our joints could be considered self-defense - and that includes practices like yoga. While it may not seem like the two are related, practicing yoga can actually help improve your self-defense training in several ways.
Here are some of the reasons why doing yoga can help your self-defense training:
Increased flexibility and mobility
Yoga is a great way to increase your flexibility and mobility, which can be crucial in self-defense situations. Being able to move quickly and easily can help you evade an attack, or even strike back more effectively.
One thing that we’ve noticed in middle-age and older men is that their range of motion is shortened significantly. This is due to a few factors. Flexibility is not often prized in men, while strength is. The strength training exercises that are often prioritized by men are in one direction, so instead of having full range of motion, their chests and biceps are incredibly tight, making your punches less effective. Practicing yoga regularly can help improve your range of motion, make your movements more fluid, and make your punches more powerful.
Improved balance and coordination
Yoga can also help improve your balance and coordination, which is especially useful when we note that a majority of fights end up on the ground. When it comes to Krav Maga, we do our best to avoid finding ourselves on the ground. Improved balance can keep you on your feet and control your movements, both things essential to staying safe and effectively defending yourself.
Enhanced body awareness
Certain activities can help you work on your body awareness: dance, boxing, and yoga. Body awareness is the ability to sense your body’s positioning in space and how to control your body movements. Now, eventually, Krav Maga can help you get there, but if you want to get there faster, try yoga. By practicing yoga, you can become more attuned to your body, which can help you detect potential threats and respond more quickly and effectively.
Reduced stress and anxiety
Practicing yoga can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial in self-defense situations. Being in a stressful or threatening situation can cause your body to go into fight-or-flight mode, which can make it harder to think clearly and react effectively. By practicing yoga, you can learn how to regulate your breathing and stay calm, even in high-pressure situations.
Enhanced mental focus
Yoga requires focus and concentration, which can translate into better self-defense skills. By practicing mindfulness and staying present in the moment during yoga, you can develop mental habits that will help you stay calm and focused in a self-defense situation.
Injury prevention and recovery
Yoga can also help prevent injuries and aid in recovery from existing injuries. By improving your flexibility and mobility, you can reduce the risk of muscle strains or joint injuries that can limit your ability to defend yourself.
Incorporating yoga into your self-defense training can be a smart and effective way to improve your skills and overall well-being. Whether you practice yoga regularly or are just getting started, consider how it can benefit your self-defense practice and help you stay safe and confident in any situation.
More than just meditation, yoga helped one Valley Self-Defense student heal from trauma.
Valley Self-Defense is excited to be able to offer yoga to our students. Learn more about our instructor, Ian.
Owner Lee is not a huge fan of Krav Maga, but her experience with Krav Maga was pivotal in her journey to healing after trauma. Learn more about her story and how she decided to heal at her own pace.
Krav Maga near me? There is! If you're looking for a Krav Maga class near you, Valley Self-Defense is a proud member of the International Krav Maga Federation with schools located across the United States. To find a school near you, visit the IKMF USA website.