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Become a Spiritual Warrior

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Become a Spiritual Warrior

Sometimes it takes a Hollywood stamp of approval before we decide to give a new workout a try. After endorsements from Madonna, Gwyneth, and Jennifer, Budokon, which draws upon the ancient art of yoga, made the cover of TIME magazine and is now a fast-growing fitness trend in the Western world.

Sometimes it takes a Hollywood stamp of approval before we decide to give a new workout a try. After endorsements from Madonna, Gwyneth, and Jennifer, Budokon, which draws upon the ancient art of yoga, made the cover of TIME magazine and is now a fast-growing fitness trend in the Western world.

Budokon means “way of the spiritual warrior” and is a fusion of yoga, martial arts, and meditation. It was developed by Cameron Shayne in 2000 after he realized that martial arts had much in common with dynamic Ashtanga yoga, also known as “power-yoga.”

Now taking North America by storm, Budokon has been featured in many magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Health & Fitness, and US Weekly. Its popularity has classes starting in every major centre in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Creating Balance

Luckily, you do not need to be in movie-star shape to do Budokon. This practice is applicable to students of most fitness levels, though not for total beginners. A Budokon workout is high intensity but low impact. It focuses on tone, strength, power, and endurance.

A Budokon class starts with five minutes of meditation to create serenity, followed by 40 minutes of warming and stretching yoga moves, then 40 minutes of cardiovascular with martial arts kicks and moves. Another five minutes of meditation ends the session.

In a one-and-a-half-hour class, the focus is to create a balance and permanent change in your entire system. Shayne’s Budokon is based on the concept that the body is divided into four parts: emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual. Most exercise practices today focus on only one of the body’s parts. Budokon is about finding a centre between expansion and contraction, stillness and movement, and the inner and outer worlds.

Addressing Yin and Yang

The holistic living elements of yin and yang are included in Budokon. Chinese philosophers believe the formation of the universe is based on the division of substances into lighter and heavier parts, yin and yang respectively. The Budokon yogic elements, emphasizing alignment, stillness, and control of our internal energy, address the yin. Martial arts techniques address the yang. Together they offer a holistic workout.

Even if you’ve never practised any type of yoga, you might want to consider trying Budokon. While yoga makes you strong in a neutral position, Budokon creates strength while the body is in an expanded position, allowing for proper movement and alignment while your muscles are engaged.

As an athlete who spent most of my life racing down ski hills and running on an ultimate Frisbee field, I never considered the slow, precise motions of martial arts or yoga as true workouts. However, the toned physical results I’ve achieved from these beautiful exercises outreach those I’ve achieved from running and jumping. Perhaps more importantly, the harmony of combining meditation and inner thought with exercise is more enlightening than I can express on paper.

Budokon is founded on many philosophies. A few of my favourites are included on Shayne’s website at budokon.com:

  • Order before chaos.
  • Concentration before confusion.
  • Peace before destruction.
  • Freedom before enslavement.
  • Humility before dishonour.
  • Courage before hardship.

As more teachers are trained, Budokon classes are starting up all across Canada. Inquire at your local yoga and martial arts locations about Budokon, and begin to enjoy the workout that tones, strengthens, lengthens, and fuses your mind and body.

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