As a practitioner of BJJ, you may think that you don’t need to do anything else in terms of conditioning. And we really can find a fault in this line of thinking, initially. After all, the burnout that you get from BJJ training is something that cannot be easily matched by any other form of training. However, BJJ has its weak points too. Overuse injuries are very common in BJJ. You will need to supplement your main training with something that will release the compounding tension of your body.
And this is yoga. There are many different benefits that you will experience by combining BJJ with Yoga. Below you can read more about it.
Benefits of doing Yoga for the practitioners of BJJ
If you read the previous paragraph, then you know of BJJ’s main fault when it comes to total body integrity. It’s the fact that you can easily overuse some muscles at the expense of others. And just try and think about it – during BJJ, what kinds of positions do you utilize the most? If you give it a thought, you will conclude that your body is almost always in a contracted, hunched-over state. You’re standing against your sitting opponent? You need to hunch over in order to be able to defend the takedown and to attack. You’re sitting against your standing opponent? Then you need to be hunched over with your knees retracted in order to defend the passing of your guard.
As you can see, over time this will put your contracting muscles under tremendous overuse. Your psoas, shoulders, and pectorals will be strained. If you reach this state – then it means that it will be very easy for you to get seriously injured.
And this is where yoga comes into play. If you take a look at some of the basic yoga positions, you will see that there are many stretches. And these stretches are exactly what your body needs after a grueling BJJ session where all you did was contract your muscles as hard as you can. One of the very best poses that you can use for remedying the contraction overuse problems is the Cobra pose. You do this pose by laying down on your stomach and then using your arms in order to push your upper body away – like you would do a push-up. The difference here is that you leave the core and the legs firmly planted on the ground. If done properly, then you will feel a big stretch in your core.
But Yoga is not only about stretching. It’s so much more than that. You will also get to learn many useful breathing techniques. Your breathing patterns can easily deteriorate into chaos when you train BJJ. There is so much to do and so much to think about in every rolling session that you may completely forget about the importance of breathing.
Well, one of the things that Yoga will teach you is how to control your breathing. If you watch some BJJ videos about the legends in the sport and the martial art – you will see that many of them use Yoga exercises and principles in order to get by. The power of focus that you can develop through Yoga practice alone is not something that can be easily matched.
To top things off – you will also benefit from increased flexibility. You will find that many of the BJJ submission and sweep moves require a good deal of flexibility. And you will be able to utilize some special moves that regular people can’t use if you’re flexible enough. The rubber guard springs to mind – if you can’t do a full lotus, then forget about doing this guard. Yoga can help you develop the flexibility that you need in order to be successful at BJJ.
A simple Yoga routine for BJJ
It would be very impractical for you to learn Yoga by reading the text. It’s much more effective to watch a video of someone else doing it, instead. That being said, we recommend that you give it a deep thought and consider going to Yoga class for a while. If you’re really addicted to BJJ and can’t let go of the classes – then you need to consider the fact that you will be doing your body (and your BJJ success) a big service by taking Yoga classes. Learn the basics and then get back to BJJ. You will see that almost everything about your BJJ game will change for the better.
That being said, if you want to go through a simple Yoga for BJJ routine that you can do at home – then we suggest you check out the clip below.
There is much overlap between Yoga and BJJ. So much so that they can be considered related in many different ways. If you train one, then you will be good at the other. If you combine the two, then you will experience synergy – a result where the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts. Be sure to give Yoga a try.