How does yoga help BJJ performance?

How does yoga help BJJ performance?


Jiu-Jitsu can help with BJJ performance in a number of ways, today we will specifically talk about: Injury prevention, flexibility, breathing and focus. 

Injury Prevention: Yoga can help with injury prevention by stretching the muscles that need it, and strengthening areas of the body that are commonly weak (and therefore more prone to injury). Jiu-Jitsu loves to make those hips tight, and to prey on lower backs (or backs in general). It's important to respect how hard Jiu-Jitsu can be on the body, and how important maintenance work is to keep the body strong and injury free. 

Yoga brings balance to the right and left side of the body, in contrast to Jiu-Jitsu where we may favour one side of the body for certain techniques than the other (or life, where we may favour the right hand over the left creating a chain reaction affecting the entire body). This is why in yoga practice we work through both left and right side equally (but don't expect both sides to be the same!). Again, helping prevent injuries that are caused by imbalances throughout the body. 

Flexibility: Why is flexibility beneficial to Jiu-Jitsu? There are many answers to this, the short and sweet is: You can move better. For example: Flexible hips can assist in making your guard harder to pass. The legs can reguard easily with a healthy range of motion, and harder to pass with increased flexibility. 

Breathing: Everyone knows breathing is important, and breathing affects the nervous system, therefore affecting focus. In yoga flows that are sequenced well, it's possible to experience 'moving meditation'. Simply meaning: movement with breath, the mind is not thinking of anything else. This is not unlike Jiu-Jitsu. Having the ability to move the body with breath. Allowing us to pace ourselves in long rounds, stay as calm as possible in scrambles, and stay focused (because we aren't hyperventilating). 

The bottom line is, we love Jiu-Jitsu. The puzzle, the challenge, the victories, the camaraderie...All of it. Yet Jiu-Jitsu can be very hard on the body, so why not practice yoga off the Jiu-Jitsu mat to help heal our bodies, and make our Jiu-Jitsu better. If there was a catalyst to revolutionize your Jiu-Jitsu, this would be it. But be careful, once your body learns how good it can feel and the difference it can make, it can't be unlearnt ;)

Click here for a hip stretching session on us


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