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The Yoga of Combat

Yoga and aikido share the goal of a tension-free body that uses energy wisely and efficiently.

By Baron Baptiste and Kathleen Finn Mendola

In the best of yoga, the same thing happens, adds Leonard. "Out of relaxation comes power."

Baron Baptiste is a yoga teacher and athletic trainer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, known for his work with the Philadelphia Eagles and as the host of ESPN's "Cyberfit." Kathleen Finn Mendola is a writer based in Portland, Oregon.

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Reader Comments

Brandon Cole

I teach Aikido at www.eaglerockaikido.com in Idaho Falls / Ammon, Idaho. I often describe Aikido in the terms that you have listed here and think that Aikido and Yoga are very complimentary. As I have continued to get older, I am finding Yoga to be the thing that really helps my body recover faster and stay in shape. Excellent article.

Eric Seibert

My last deployment I was teaching yoga to my platoon mates when we had time between missions and down days and for those who took it they seemed to be less beat up from the perpetual weight we carried on missions as well as mentally from the long hours, insane heat and occasional mental hazzards of combat.

On my next deployment to the middle east I plan on teaching again with hopes of a bigger following and fingers crossed more time to be able to teach and help restore and rejuvenate the body and mind from the daily rigors of the war zone. I teach baptiste style power yoga which seems more geared for the physicality that the army/marines demand of the troops while providing the mental concepts associated with regular practice.

I plan on posting to my wordpress/blog/facebook of the progress and challenges that we encounter.

Paul Dunbar

At 40 I was stressed out, had chronic backache, was drinking too much and on my way to a depression. In desperation to find my way out of the mess I was in, I started Zen meditation, then intuitively started Iyengar Yoga 2 years later and Aikido a year ago. All I can say is that now, although nothing has changed outwardly in my life, inwardly it is renewed. I feel happy, I'm rarely obsessed by my own thoughts, I am more physically at ease than I can remember being in my life, and no longer feel the need to consume to escape whatever is here and now. Instead whatever is here and now is perfect already. I hope, for the sake of everyone, that more people have the luck to come across these excellent and complementary practices!

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