I’ve recently fallen madly in love — with martial arts. This ancient practice has so many parallels to my already beloved yoga. They both evolved out of Asian roots and create an environment for respect, discipline, and knowledge of our amazing vessels.
I am currently drawn to practicing Kempo Karate under the guidance of my teachers in the same way I once was to my daily Mysore Ashtanga practice. The practice demands that you show up regularly. The only way to learn is through experience and repetition. The Mysore tradition gives the student a new pose only when the teacher believes the student to be ready. In Kempo, we earn new belts as our knowledge of strikes, kempos (combinations of strikes), sequences, and katas (training exercises) grow. In many ways, martial arts and yoga are a match made in disciplined heaven.
I’ve pulled together two common kicks that are done in martial arts and paired them with two yoga poses each — one to help strengthen the kick and one to boost the flexibility needed to perform it. If this interests you, I highly recommend checking out your local Dojo or practicing with the amazing Liz Arch, who has blended martial arts and yoga in her style of teaching called Primal Arts. Continue reading >>