Martial Arts and Yoga – A Perfect Partnership for Functional Fitness

Before I was a fitness coach I was a martial arts and yoga instructor.

When I started Seva Fitness three years ago, I was driven by the belief that I had something meaningful to offer people who wanted to live healthier lives. As a student of wise and talented mentors and coaches from various disciplines, I had learned principles that were complementary and overlapping. More than that, by applying these principles in my own practice, I had experienced lasting results first-hand. I knew the power behind this fresh and effective long-term approach to fitness.

Three years later Seva has five trainers, each having a background in yoga, martial arts, or both. Coincidence? Not a chance.

Anyone who perseveres in pursuing a practice in yoga or martial arts realizes that it’s a life-long journey. Once a basic foundation is laid, a practitioner progresses through stages of difficulty and complexity until they reach mastery. Yet even with mastery of skills and techniques, refinements can be made, poses perfected, challenges overcome. To a life-long learner, quick results are no longer appealing. Instant gratification is now a false and detrimental idea. Things built to last take time.

By the very nature of their training, yoga and martial arts practitioners are more aware of the role both their mind and nervous system play in their day-to-day health. Intrinsically, their workouts incorporate elements to focus the mind, train the nervous system to stay as calm as possible, and shape the body to be structurally sound. Everything in their practice has to do with this trinity and how stress impacts it positively or negatively. The same is true for daily life. Stress is either our best friend or our worst enemy.

Perhaps the most compelling reason individuals with yoga or martial arts backgrounds make excellent personal trainers is their attention to technical precision. Whether in a fight or in a yoga pose, one cannot simply muscle through it. In order to successfully overcome a larger opponent or more difficult challenge, the combination of technique, leverage and timing must be executed with precision.

Precision can only be accomplished after you learn how to use your body more efficiently and effectively. This not only reduces injuries but helps the discipline gained through workouts trickle into everyday life, giving you focus, strength and resilience to pursue the things you love most.

Ultimately being fit is a measure of the body’s ability to function effectively and efficiently. Essentially, being fit is being capable. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or the kid who always got picked last in gym class (like I was before I started this journey), we can help you become the most capable version of yourself. At Seva you will see the difference in our approach in your first lesson. We teach lessons you can carry with you a lifetime in your pursuit of fitness. After all, we work out now, so we can carry our own groceries when we are 80.

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About the Author : Eric Romanak