Yoga is an ancient practice that’s been around for millennia and offers numerous benefits for the body and mind. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of Yoga for Muay Thai fighters.
A forever-growing body of research points at one fundamental idea:
Yoga is incredible for people from all walks of life and can be very useful for different athletes.
Today, we’ll be looking at one uncommon combination: Muay Thai and yoga.
Below, we’ll go over the inherent value of yoga for Muay Thai fighters and six incredible benefits you can reap from regular practice.
Let’s get to it.
Warrior STRENGTH S&C PROGRAM
Do you want to win your next fight, transform your body & unleash your potential as a martial artist?
We work exclusively with combat athletes to improve their performance, optimize their recovery time, and reduce stress during training.
Benefits of Yoga For Muay Thai
While yoga might seem like an activity only good for stretching your muscles, its benefits are rooted much deeper than that. Specifically, yoga develops the mind, improves flexibility, builds whole-body strength, strengthens our breathing, and reduces our risks of injuries.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at each of the benefits:
1. It Improves Your Flexibility
Flexibility is the measure of how well we can move a joint (or several joints) through a specific range of motion, unrestricted and pain-free.
Better flexibility reduces our risks of injuries, allows us to train effectively, keeps us healthy, and prevents aches.
The most notable benefit of yoga is the improvement in flexibility.
According to researchers, one of the biggest reasons for inflexibility today is the lack of stretching exercises. This results in a reduced range of motion and shorter muscles. The issue is, inflexibility prevents effective training and stops us from improving, despite our best efforts.
The good news is, practising yoga regularly will boost your flexibility and make you much better able to perform various Muay Thai techniques such as kicking and throwing knees.
2. It Develops Your Mindset and Focus
Today, many aspiring martial artists focus on the obvious skills required to become proficient fighters: such as sparring, weight-lifting and aerobic conditioning. But, few take the time to develop the thing that controls everything: the mind.
In truth, your mindset and ability to focus will play a massive role in your Muay Thai development.
A significant benefit of regular yoga practice is that it transforms the mind.
More specifically, yoga is about calmness and focus. Both qualities are vital for Muay Thai because they help you remain collected, allow you to study your opponents much better, and keep you focused, regardless of the circumstances.
If you’ve never tried yoga, you’re in for a treat because the practice mixes meditation with physical activity and profoundly impacts the way you perceive the world.
3. It Makes You Stronger And More Balanced
Power, technique, and endurance are essential characteristics for any martial artist. But strength and balance are also vital because they play a massive role in your ability to overcome opponents.
For instance, strength is vital because it allows you to pack more force behind each strike and defend yourself more effectively. Balance is also crucial for keeping yourself in full control of each technique. The moment you lose your footing can be the moment the scale tips in favour of your opponent.
At first glance, yoga might seem like something only good for improving your flexibility and relaxing your mind after a tough day at work. This is far from the truth.
A huge benefit of yoga is its impact on your physical strength and balance. Some beginner poses mostly rely on flexibility to pull off. But, the majority of poses also require impeccable strength and balance. Forcing yourself to master them will build incredible core (and overall) strength and outstanding balance.
Take, for example, Sarvangasana (the Shoulder Stand). This pose requires impeccable back, shoulder, core, and length strength to pull off effectively. Working on these muscle groups through yoga will inevitably translate to more power and balance for Muay Thai.
4. It Melts Stress And Boosts Mental Health
Exercise has the incredible ability to help us melt stress and improve our mental health. An ever-growing body of research points at this simple fact:
Physically-active people are happier, less stressed, and less likely to suffer from depression than sedentary individuals.
Yoga, in particular, is incredible in that regard. As an ancient practice, yoga is about becoming calmer and more present while also developing your physical characteristics.
As a result, you get to melt stress, feel good about yourself, and drastically improve your mental health. Research also supports that and finds that folks who practise yoga regularly feel happier, have lower self-reported stress levels, and tend to feel better.
5. It Teaches You Valuable Breathing Techniques
Thanks to stress, anxiety, and poor posture, many people today don’t even breathe normally.
Instead of taking deep breaths to oxygenate the body, many people take these rapid and shallow breaths that negatively impact their health, well-being, and athletic ability.
Yoga is fantastic precisely because it centres us and brings us back to the fundamentals.
To get good at yoga, one must master their breathing and learn how to breathe deeply while performing various physical tasks. This helps open up the rib cage, teaches people how to use their diaphragm effectively, and allows them to make the most of each breath.
Research also finds this to be true. Various papers show that regular yoga practice alone increases lung capacity and allows people to breathe better while doing physical tasks.
This offers immense value not just for yoga but for many other activities, including Muay Thai.
6. It Helps Reduce The Risk Of Injuries
Inflexibility and stiffness are huge predictors of future aches and injuries. When joints become obstructed and unable to perform their functions, we get stiff, achy, and unable to do many physical tasks.
What’s worse is the human body is an incredible machine, capable of adapting to many things. So, it finds ways to compensate for this stiffness by changing movement patterns to do what we intend. This includes the activation of different muscles, compensating through other joints, and more.
Yoga helps counter this by improving your flexibility, teaching you how to engage various muscles better, and making you more mindful. As a result, you drastically reduce the risk of future injuries.
What Equipment You Need For Yoga
Here is the best part:
You don’t need any equipment to do yoga. That’s right. All you have to do is dedicate yourself to the process and get started. You can do it right now. All you need is a bit of free space, a yoga mat or blanket for the floor, and that’s it. Put some comfortable clothes on and get started.
If you’re looking for a Yoga mat, we recommend this product.
How To Learn Yoga For Muay Thai?
It’s entirely possible to learn yoga on your own if you have the right resources.
To help, we recommend checking out a yoga course specifically designed for martial artists. Like this one.
Looking For Some Muay Thai Gloves?
Fairtex is one of the most established Muay Thai brands in the world. Fairtex Muay Thai gloves are high-quality, durable and offer premium protection for Muay Thai fighters. We are massive fans, so check them out!
Yoga For Muay Thai Summary
Yoga is incredibly beneficial for everyone, especially for aspiring Muay Thai fighters. The benefits it offers are many, and each contributes to your overall skill and ability.
Here is a summary of why you should practice yoga for Muay Thai:
- Yoga improves your flexibility, which allows you to move freely, feel light, and get the most out of your training.
- Yoga elevates your mindset and helps you become more focused. This allows you to remain grounded in high-pressure situations and teaches you the value of hard work.
- Yoga increases whole-body strength and balance, both of which play an essential role in your fighting ability. While skill is important, superior strength and balance will give you an advantage over your opponents.
- Yoga is a great activity for melting stress, elevating your well-being, and feeling happier. Numerous papers have found that regular yoga practitioners feel more satisfied and are less likely to suffer from depression.
- Yoga improves your breathing, which is crucial for your health and optimal performance.
- Yoga helps reduce the risk of injuries by teaching you how to use your muscles more effectively, improving your strength, and making you more flexible.
If you enjoyed our article on why you should practice Yoga for Muay Thai, share it by hitting the button below.