Now, one thing that people really overlook in yoga is the mastery of breath control. In fact, that is the biggest focus in yoga, more than flexibility. Breathing is seen as the root of all the other benefits of yoga. Without proper breathing, you will not be able to concentrate, go deeply into your stretches, or hold the awkward positions.
There are several different breaths that are used in yoga. Proper breathing also helps control your heart rate and will slow down the rate of how you tire. The same thing applies to jiu-jitsu, especially in tournaments. The athletes that can better manage their breathing will find themselves tiring much later into the tournament or the match than those who do not. As you train more in yoga, your breath control will become more natural and you won’t even have to think about it – which is the goal.
Rickson Gracie is the most popular example in BJJ of an athlete that combines his yoga practice with jiu-jitsu. The most famous technique that he uses is when he exhales completely and is able to move his stomach around beneath his abs - you can actually see it happening. This is only one of many things that Rickson can do to show his mastery of strategic breathing. However, you don’t have to be Rickson to learn how to control your breath. Try committing to yoga for a period of time and see what it does for you and your game!!