Nathan Corbett, Yoga and Muay Thai
Muay Thai and Yoga / Nathan Corbett

Carnage Diary: The Eight Limbs

The two beautiful passions in my life are the fighting art of Muay Thai, and my new found passion for Yoga.

For many years I was practicing yoga while I was still fighting. But to be honest I was just thinking about it more for a stretching thing, to help loosen the body from all the hard training.

I have never been flexible as a martial artist, and after years of trying, I kind of just gave up on the whole stretching process. And then, only when I was super sore, I’d try stretch.

The past three years I have practiced yoga, but it’s been on a different level than just stretching out the muscles. It has been a lot deeper, with more focus on all the other things that yoga can bring to your life.

After a resent lesson, I learned that yoga and Muay Thai have something very much in common. And although there is the connection with the body that both arts require, it was the fact both arts are known to be called the Art of Eight Limbs.

I was fascinated by this and was wondering what the eight limbs of yoga where, as I have been practicing all eight limbs of Muay Thai for over 20 years now

Muay Thai is the fighting art of 8 limbs or you could say eight weapons. That being the fist, elbow, knee and shin/foot on both sides of the body, giving eight striking limbs.

Yoga’s eight limbs of practice are slightly different than the Muay Thai ones. And although yoga uses all the limbs of the body, it is more of a way of life using eight different steps. The guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life.

The eight fold path is called Ashtanga

They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline. They direct attention toward one’s health. They help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature. You can research it, and look deeper into each of the eight beautiful steps.

Coming back to my own experience with yoga and Muay Thai I just love the balance that they bring to my life, with one being super aggressive at times and the other being super gentle. With the two disciplines I feel it’s a perfect balance to being a true warrior.

Once you start to practice yoga from a different mindset of it being just a way to stretch, the magic can start to happen. You will start to feel the deeper benefits from yoga, that being a deeper spiritual connection with you and God. Plus you will get the benefits of meditation and relaxation. You will also start to strengthen the body in a different way to what Muay Thai or, let’s say, weight training can do.

My first love is fighting. I love using my body still as a weapon, for only training purposes now, that I have retired from the professional ring. However I feel more so than ever, the power of yoga brings to my body. I would encourage all fighters to start adding yoga into there weekly training routine.

There is such a physical aspect to both arts. But then there is the other side of it, where the mind is so important. I believe yoga can help with your Muay Thai and give you a greater understanding of yourself, and keep your mind much calmer.

It’s all about the switch of turning on and off, from a powerful dangerous warrior into a peaceful loving warrior. Be the warrior of light. Namaste.


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