The potential yoga practicing boxer is faced with a variety of yoga schools, some offering health, strength and flexibility, others balance, alignment and flow, others still peace and enlightenment.
Yoga schools can vary from gentle to strenuous, and are chosen based on the practitioner’s physical ability and personal preference. While for example meditative yoga may appeal to a boxer’s preferences, and therapeutic yoga to specific needs, these are different types of activity compared to a boxer’s training regime. They are not concerned with developing physical fitness, though therapeutic yoga aims at recovering health.
Many people lose control of or hold their breath during intense activity. By reinforcing correct breathing habits, breath-control (pranayama) may help improve performance.
There is evidence that breath control reduces stress, improves lung function, helps with relaxation, and can help achieve higher work rates in athletes.
Counter-Argument: Training Specificity
An argument against the notion of a yoga for boxers is that yoga is not like boxing. A basic principle of training, the principle of specificity, states that training must reflect the demands of a given sport (metabolic, biomechanical, neuro-muscular) in order for an athlete to adapt to that sport. In other words, it may be argued that yoga is not intense or similar enough to boxing to be part of a boxer’s training regimen.
The Aims of BoxingYoga™
BoxingYoga™ is a yoga-based training system for fighters; improving mental and physical strength and flexibility, to prevent injury, maximize performance and maintain optimal health.