High-impact sports now incorporate yoga to enhance performance and prevent injury
At Krav New York, Krav Maga students spend their class time punching, kicking, fighting and screaming. Then practitioners of this martial arts method of combat used by Israeli Defense Forces do something atypical of fighters: yoga. They relax.
Krav New York is one of the first high-impact sports studios to incorporate low-impact yoga routines into its normal class repertoire. After every class, students do restorative yoga sessions to ensure they won't have injuries the next morning.
"A lot of our students and some of our instructors have issues with flexibility, so we figured yoga would be a painless integration to what we already do here to basically expand our ability to fight," said Krav New York instructor Drew Lasater.
Incorporting yoga or restorative exercise into workout routines is nothing new, but for an intense martial arts method like Krav Maga to embrace it shows the importance of healing as well as working the body's muscles.
Student Dana Cutolo says yoga enhances her Krav.
"Everything you're doing in class, which is fast and strenuous like CrossFit, is tensing your body up. You're fighting and defending. I've done a class and haven't stretched out afterwards and found that I had trouble lifting my head off the pillow. Yoga helps your tense muscles and even helps you recover for the next day."
Krav New York student Margaret Friedlander agrees.
"When I combine yoga with my Krav Maga," she said, "I feel longer, looser, stronger!"
Yoga enhances other sport practices, too, according to Friedlander.
"It helps my balance," she said.
It can also take away the stresses that come with a long day at the office.
"I'm in a business where stress is part of my daily life," said Friedlander. "And when I do my yoga ... I feel way better."
Annette Vetere, the yoga instructor at Krav New York, says yoga helps to elongate your spine, thus preventing injuries.
"Every day, normal wear and tear compresses your spine," she said.
Vetere says yoga can calm both mind and muscle.
Krav New York yoga instructor Annette Vetere recommends these poses to prevent injuries from high-impact sports.
Stretches the back and the back of the legs as well as the shoulder and intercostal muscles, and strengthens the abdominals and arms.
Loosens the quadriceps, knees and feet and reduces the likelihood of foot and ankle injuries.
Stretches and strengthens the quadriceps, opens the groin and hips and improves balance and concentration.