In our four part series we have covered how running, swimming, and weight lifting can enhance your BJJ game, but all of those exercises can be rough on a body. Many people do not have the time to do that on top of being on the mats consistently. Well, there is one other thing that can enhance your BJJ game, and while Yoga sounds like an easy thing to do, it is not.
Yoga is not an exercise that is hard on the body. It does not put a ton of pressure on your body like weight lifting or running can do, but it is hard because it forces you to hold poses. This means you are using your body weight to hold positions where you may use muscles that you have not used in a while. From legs to back to butt, you will feel the burn. While people may not find the benefit in that, the bottom line is that you are becoming stronger. Just like lifting weights, yoga can help make you stronger but you will not pack on the pounds.
Yoga is all body resistance which means you will sweat as much as you build muscle. This makes you functionally strong. You may not be able to bench 300 pounds, but when you hold onto an opponent you will not be letting go due to muscle fatigue. These are not the only ways that yoga helps, because of course there is the easiest reason to see how it can help and that is with your flexibility.
When rolling there may be a move you want to try but you cannot pull it off, or maybe you get caught in a submission due to your inability to move a certain way. Well, yoga helps impart some of the best stretches out there. With constant training you should be able to increase your flexibility, little by little, until you are bendy enough to move your body any which way you want. The added bonus is having control over your body so that when you roll you can be comfortable in almost any position you are put in.
Yoga may seem like a weird way to enhance your BJJ game, but to be good at it you need focus, dedication, and commitment. Are those not the biggest things you need to be good at BJJ as well? So, do not discount any form of extra exercise in its abilities to enhance your game, because you never know where you will pick up something new to make you better at Jiu Jitsu.