Yoga

piratebum

Triple-Digit Post Count
What's the strong first verdict on yoga?

Vital?
Good if you can?
Already covering bases with flexible steel and ris?
Waste of time?

Thoughts?
 

LukeV

More than 300 posts
Don't knock yoga until you've tried it. I tried it and it nearly killed me. I went back to barbell training because that was easier. This was a proper yoga school, not a gym class offering yoga with Body Balance and Zumba, and the instructors were strong, wiry and merciless. I really rated it but it was too tough for me
 

piratebum

Triple-Digit Post Count
Oh yea I don't disagred at all. Between 3-5 strength and conditioning workouts and 3-5 bjj workouts I'm not sure I have the energy for it
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@piratebum, everything I've read said the teacher is the most important thing, and I've heard the same thing said about martial arts. Find a teacher who you feel "gets" you and what you can and cannot do. Do you _need_ to do yoga? You only need to pay taxes - everything else is optional in this life. :)

-S-
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Well... there are a lot of different types of Yoga. Different styles have different focus. Some are more 'internal' than others. It's a tool, like many others we have at our disposal. I would say it comes down to training goals, and analysis of which tools are going to best serve your purpose.
 

Oscar

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
+1 @LukeV above. I did Ashtanga Yoga for a few months and it was tough. It was also quite time consuming, about 2 hours per session. I think it is a great practice if you commit to it, and you have a good instructor.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Yoga is a great practice for so many reasons. But just like strength training, you aren't likely to get much benefit if you aren't a good student of it, if you don't have a good instructor, or if you don't practice it well. By "practice it well" I mean things like, challenge yourself appropriately, pay attention to what's going on with your body, and adapt the amount of stress/recovery of whatever method or class you pick (challenging, restorative, etc.) to the rest of your training.

Some things I get out of it by doing it once or twice a week: A regular "soft practice" to balance strength training and cardio, breathing, balance, odd stretches that I would otherwise forget to do, a "check in" to see if there's anything weird going on with my mobility or movement, isometric strength work, bodyweight strength practice, time in contact with the ground in various poses, experiencing the tension/relaxation relationships in a vast variety of ways. I also learn a lot about movement from watching others in class... their restrictions, their challenges, their strengths and weaknesses. Yoga is supposed to be about yourself and not others, but I find it to be a great learning experience in this way.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
+1 @LukeV above. I did Ashtanga Yoga for a few months and it was tough. It was also quite time consuming, about 2 hours per session. I think it is a great practice if you commit to it, and you have a good instructor.
Yes Ashtanga is a hard practice...
 

somanaut

More than 300 posts
If the plan is to get stronger, be more flexible...move better. Then no yoga is in no way vital, and while not a complete waste of time, it's kinda like taking the scenic route instead of going straight to your destination. Pavels programs, GFM, Flexible Steel, GMB Fitness etc. are in my opinion better.
Using yoga for fitness is kinda like buying a kettlebell and using it as a doorstopper. This is coming from someone who did 7 years of ashtanga, took a teacher training and taught for a year daily. Gentle stretching while breathing is not yoga in my opinion (atleast not traditional). I actually think that, this is the best thing (restorative yoga) that yoga has re-introduced to fitness, and it's not even part of the practise. Now this doesn't mean, that a person can't enjoy it. I like a sun salutaion as much as the next guy girl. And bending my self into a human pretzel is allways interesting, but the result is not so...usefull.
This is ofcourse just my opinion. And I could be a complete moron for all I/you know.
 

piratebum

Triple-Digit Post Count
I actually think your correct. And thanks for the validation as this is the general conclusion I had come to as well.

The travel alone was going to be 40 minutes, not including the hour at the yoga place.

And I just don’t care to be able to do certain poses, I just want to be flexible enough to improve my bjj, prevent injuries and get stronger.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
It's all about using the right tool for the job.
Improve BJJ, Prevent Injuries, Get Stronger... ?
Could Yoga accomplish that? Probably... to a point. Are there are other tools that are better suited? Yes.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
What's the strong first verdict on yoga?

Vital?
Good if you can?
Already covering bases with flexible steel and ris?
Waste of time?

Thoughts?
If a good yoga teacher, then good. Do you need it if you do Flexible Steel? No, but people may ask you if you do yoga, anyway. :)

-S-
 

somanaut

More than 300 posts
Addendum: I would like to add, that I wasn't being sarcastic when I wrote "I like a sun salutation as much as the next..." or "bending my self into a human pretzel is allways interesting". I meant it. I do think that yoga is a very interesting practise. But it didn't have a lot of everyday fitness or specific performance effect for me. That was of course my personal experience, and I do think that I gave it a good try, before I gave up on the method. I did however learn some principles that I use in my current (SF based) strength, mobility and flexibility practise, so it wasn't a complete waste of time. But I do think that yoga is being misrepresented and misinterpreted by many advocates. I.e. too much hype. Old school flexibility (e.g. gymnastics) has allways worked to make people move better.
 

Machete

Halfling Monk, Chaotic Neutral
Elite Certified Instructor
As said above, Yoga isn't magic. The practice as we know it today is not 2'000 years old. If I recall correctly I believe many Asanas was derived from Indian Gymnastics. It's another method to get people to move into positions, stabilize, and breathe; it's not the only way to do it.

*I also am rather fond of Sun Salutations. I practiced on-and-off for several years.

The travel alone was going to be 40 minutes, not including the hour at the yoga place.

And I just don’t care to be able to do certain poses, I just want to be flexible enough to improve my bjj, prevent injuries and get stronger.
I liked Yoga. I also have the Eddie Bravo flexibility, and since we tend to like what we're good at that might explain my fondness for it. But the 40 minute travel time might not be worth it. Or it might--if you're surrounded by attractive people in yoga pants for an hour or two that might help you relax and downregulate for your next BJJ class/strength session. The "do Yoga for flexibility" just became a catch-all though. There are many ways to improve flexibility. Personally I follow techniques from MobilityWOD and several programs from GymnasticBodies (the Movement warmup by itself is excellent for BJJ). You can also try Yoga for BJJ for a more specific type of Yoga, or Kinstretch. (Both created by BJJ practitioners.)
 

somanaut

More than 300 posts
In the end it's more a question about training methodology (did I spell that right?). In most yoga classes there are no sets and reps, there are progressions, but these are rarely founded in biomechanics (as I understand it). Yin yoga where they hold stretches for a couple of minutes, is perhaps an approach that I can see the point in (with regards to everyday fitness and specific performance). So I do question if the body is forced in proper adaptation to elicit change.
 

Gaz

Double-Digit Post Count
What's the strong first verdict on yoga?

Vital?
Good if you can?
Already covering bases with flexible steel and ris?
Waste of time?

Thoughts?
I have recently started doing yoga once a week, mainly as an activity to do with my wife - whom I’m always trying to encourage to exercise. However, I’m finding the Sun Salutation a good mobility drill and some of the other asanas quite challenging but I particularly like the breath control and meditative side to it. I’m a great believer in finding exercise methods that you enjoy. So, if you enjoy it and feel like it fits in with your other training to give you a bit more of something surely it must be good.
 

jca17

More than 300 posts
I think 40 minutes of driving for 60 minutes of restorative mobility practice might be a wash or even net loss for the body regarding those goals. Driving is an especially compromised form of sitting.
 
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