You may be thinking, Yoga and Martial Arts, how does that work? I often get this question or the strange look when I tell people that, being a Yoga teacher, I also practice Martial Arts. It is like if Yoga and Martial Arts were incompatible!
The truth is that all these techniques, Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Yoga, they all have one thing in common: to lead the mind into silence! The goal of Martial Arts is not learning to kick and punch to hit other people! The goal is to bring the mind into quietness through the warrior’s path, by stimulating the values of a warrior such as honour, honesty and courage. The goal is to be able to control the mind under stressful or dangerous situations. By controlling the body we learn to control the mind! Each tradition has developed its own variations which aim at stilling the mind and reaching the silence within. Performed in the context of different faiths and techniques, they may differ in expression, but in essence they are one. Without the philosophy and spirituality, Martial Arts become a meaningless and dangerous sport!
Tai Chi is moving meditation and Martial Arts in slow motion. I find it quite funny that some people seem to get shocked when we say that Tai Chi is Martial Arts. It is like if they felt disappointed as they thought that it was something else, something magic maybe.. However, Tai Chi is the purest Martial Art, and by practising those movements in slow motion they become a lot more refined and when used in the context of a combat, each movement is perfect and effective – “one step one kill”.
But also the beauty of Tai Chi is that we learn to work with the energy of our body, what we call the “Chi”. And it is the slow movements and the energy created within the body that brings the calm and quietness in the mind. This is the part that people like to hear: Tai Chi with its slow movements brings serenity and inner peace, like magic. They don’t like to hear it is a Martial Art, but it is indeed.
All these different techniques, either Yoga, Martial Arts or Tai Chi they are methods of purifying the nervous system so that it can reflect a greater degree of consciousness.
So, in answer to my original question, yes, Yoga and Martial Arts are perfectly compatible.
Yogi Kick teaches PaKua Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Yoga and AcroYoga.