Yoga for Jiujitsu clears the Mind
I remember the first time I stepped onto the mat. I had never worn a uniform like a Gi before. I felt out of place, like I was an imposter. I was nervous. I felt like I would not remember anything. I would try my best to learn the movements and understand the mechanics behind each move, and each night I go home and forget it by the next class. It can be intimidating to begin Brazilian Jujitsu or BJJ*, starting off as a white belt surrounded in a sea of stripes and belt colors. I began spectating and studying the higher belts as they roll. Here is what I discovered: Jujitsu is not all about strength, it’s about skill.
Each body type has its own personal advantages, smaller bodies have advantages of wiggling out of tight spaces, bigger bodies have the advantage of being able to block sight making the opponent rely on their spatial awareness to break free, and the people in between have a mixed benefit of both types.
Jujitsu is about knowing your options based on your spatial awareness, and how you can use that to your advantage to impair your opponent in a fight.
How do you begin to have a great understanding of your own spatial awareness?
A great way to work on spatial awareness is to take up a regular yoga practice. Yoga has many benefits to aid your performance by creating flexibility, while strengthening and toning muscles, to prevent submissions or allowing extra time for escaping. Yoga also helps improve balance to prevent sweeps in BJJ. A regular yoga practice will naturally improve your posture, reduce stress and anxiety, improve flexibility, and help you develop a habit of mindfulness of breath and thought.
How yoga helps with spatial awareness is yoga constantly brings mindfulness and awareness to the body and isolated body parts or muscles. You will begin to communicate to your body, knowing exactly how to move without second guessing yourself. Yoga helps keep muscles warm, tone and strong while also keeping joints lubricated and healthy by practicing with proper alignment.
It’s clear that yoga is a perfect addition to your BJJ practice whether you are a white belt or higher.
Here is a small mediation you can try to bring awareness to your body parts:
(yoga nidra) “Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Thank you so much for reading. We love and appreciate each one of our members and our extended BJJ family from all walks of life.
Yoga brings flexibility, strength and mindfulness to your practice and life, it’s truly a benefit to anyone no matter age, body size or height, and flexibility level.
See you on the mats!
~ Carlson Gracie Team Castle Rock
Published: September 14, 2022
Categories: Martial Arts