Posted by: Joe | May 27, 2007

Dogs, Cobras and Pigeons, oh my!

I took my first yoga class today. Primarily I started into this just looking to increase my flexibility for injury prevention, but after one session I can see how it’s going to compliment my boxing training in a couple other ways as well.

1) Learning how to release tension from different muscle groups. Hand and foot speed is incredibly important in all sports. Loose, flexible, relaxed muscles are fast muscles. That’s why you see good baseball hitters grip the bat lightly–loose forearms translate into hand speed, and thus bat head speed. Learning to allow my shoulders and upper body to relax will translate into better hand speed, which means more powerful punches and better defense. Tense muscles are also wasted energy. The more relaxed you can be in the ring, the more efficient you’ll be.

It sounds easy–give it a try with somebody throwing punches at your head :)

2) As a shorter, stocky fighter, my boxing style will likely evolve into something similar to Cus D’Amato‘s “peekaboo” style that made Mike Tyson successful. This style requires a lot of bobbing and weaving, staying low and working inside and underneath the opposing fighter. The isometric nature of many of the standing yoga poses (particularly the “warrior” poses) will be very helpful in training my legs to keep my fighting stance low round after round.

So, even after just one class, I’m pretty sure I’m going to stick with this for a while. That is, unless all the sitar music drives me apeshit.

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