The yin and yang are one in the same, presented in different ways. Each element has a part of the other, and is incomplete without this duality. There are plenty of examples of this concept manifesting in our lives and exercise is no exception. Yoga is a practice that appears opposite to Unconventional Training, yet their relationship yields a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than its parts.
Although seemingly different in practice, there are noticeable similarities between the two. The most impactful consistency I have noticed between Unconventional Training and yoga is the unending quest for proper alignment. A lifelong practice involving both will reinforce alignment in different settings, effectively getting the message into your brain to move a certain way.
An undeniable relationship between yoga poses and fundamental movement patterns support this. For example, Malasana or “Yogi Squat” is the bottom of a squat pattern movement presented at Onnit Academy. This pose is regularly visited in a typical yoga session, so it’s no surprise when yogis easily recognize the squat pattern when taught. Adding the load of an unconventional implement and a rep scheme suddenly turns Malasana into an Unconventional Training session. Conversely, practicing the squat pattern in a deeply focused yoga practice creates more awareness and openness in the movement.
Adho Mukha Svanasana or “Downward Facing Dog” illustrates more parallels in alignment with the hinge movement pattern. The focus of controlling pelvic tilt and spinal neutrality in both instances shows a commitment to aligning the body by its natural design. A yoga student who has practiced “Downward Facing Dog” understands the mechanics necessary for controlling spinal flexion and extension, enabling a quick adaptation to the hinge movement pattern taught at Onnit Academy.
The recommended warm up and decompression included in typical Unconventional Training workouts mimic several yoga poses used during an instructor led practice. Alternating Cossack Squats, Lying L-Sit, Pigeon, Straddle Forward Fold, and 3-Legged Dog are all exactly the same as fundamental yoga poses visited during a session. This relationship is not by chance. These yoga poses encourage foundational engagements in the body that are necessary for a safe and functional workout.
Unconventional Training and yoga promote longevity as a key component to the practice. Both use the body’s natural design as the foundation for movement cues. The symbiotic benefit from the practice of both has been noticeable during my adaptation of Unconventional Training techniques. I have more strength in my yoga practice and more flexibility in my strength and conditioning training.
Two methods teaching the same fundamental belief systems in entirely different settings will ensure that your body will fully adapt and improve quicker. As one, these styles compliment each other, progressing closer to the goal of Total Human Optimization.