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Kung Fu Yoga

Kung Fu yoga may sound odd when you first look at it because it is hard tom see how the fast paced vigorous art of Kung Fu could be related to the gentle pursuit of flexibility and mental harmony that is Yoga, well in the early days of the martial arts of Kung Fu was practiced by warriors as a means of defending there territories from invaders and for protecting innocent people from the unsavory that lived among the hard working peasants and farmers of ancient China,

the way of life that the working class of china had was being threatened each and every day by others that were either unwilling or unable to make an honest living so just as it is today there were those that chose to take short cuts to wealth and fortune, this could not continue as this would have meant that the workers would have been left with nothing for their efforts, the peasants learned how to fight and how to protect them selves but they were always in fight mode which meant that even though they were fighting and vert often winning in the battles against the bandits they found that there was no resting of the mind, what is the point of winning battles and then not be able to enjoy what you had kept ? Their minds were on high alert all the time, this could not continue.

Luckily for them there was  a man that would help to change this constant state of alert and he came from India, he had a great deal of knowledge as he understood that the way that the Chinese were affected after battling with the enemy was killing them almost as quickly as the bandits were, we have high stress levels in the west to this very day and some of the old ways of coping with stress can be brought right up to date and be of use now. The Zen Buddhist sect of India had very clever and ingenuous ways of controlling stress they devised a series of stress busting exercises, they knew that the body and the mind work together so they knew that if they could incorporate these exercises into daily life, then life could be extended.

buddhist monk

They knew that if you relax the mind then you can achieve much more with less effort, they noticed how worn out the Chinese peasants looked. They looked at the peasants and noticed how stiff they were it was as if they were about to die even though some of these peasants were quite young by today’s standards, there is a definite connection between Kung Fu and Yoga

 

Yoga Warm up

yoga stretches 

 

Kung Fu Stretches

kung fu stretchesThe influence of Yoga can clearly be seen between the warm up of Kung Fu and the warm up in Yoga, this connection is not the only one the spirit behind both of these arts is also very clear, this may be uncomfortable for some people as this connection is not accepted as a good one by some Christians

For many Christians in the West who don’t understand the history behind it, yoga is simply a means of physical exercise and strengthening and improving flexibility of the muscles. However, the philosophy behind yoga is much more than physically improving oneself. It is an ancient practice derived from India, believed to be the path to spiritual growth and enlightenment.

The word yoga means “union,” and the goal is to unite one’s transitory (temporary) self with the infinite Brahman, the Hindu concept of “God.” This god is not a literal being, but is an impersonal spiritual substance that is one with nature and the cosmos. This view is called “pantheism,” the belief that everything is God and that reality consists only of the universe and nature. Because everything is God, the yoga philosophy makes no distinction between man and God.”

This is the belief of some Christians, that the connection leaves no room for God.

They also have this to say about Kung Fu

“It is stated by one of the founders of martial arts, Gichin Funakoshi, “The mind and technique become one in true karate.” By polishing our karate practice, he believes, we are polishing our own spirit or our own mentality. Karate is a system that can be considered a “way of life,” merging the spiritual and physical sides of our human existence. A Christian involved in martial arts should have a difficult time finding comfort in the roots of the martial arts. As seen above, they focus much attention on the physical development (which is not a bad thing), but also combine the training with Buddhist or Zen philosophy.”

So from these quotes you can see that there is a source from which Yoga and Kung Fu came but it is it a bad source ? The reason that the peasant martial artist was able to extend his or her life was not because they were worshiping an evil being it was because by relaxing the mind and relaxing the body to accept what was going on and by doing exercises in a more measured and controlled way they were getting much fitter in both body and mind, we in the west know that sensible exercise and good diet are very helpful in extending your life, so even if the bandits weren’t killing the peasants their bad posture poor diet lack of sleep and restless  minds all all contributed to a short life.

The stretches in Yoga helped to keep the peasants supple and also kept there minds in a balanced state.
Yoga Poses

Dynamic Kung Fu Stretch Snake creeps down