If we know something for a fact, it is that Yoga can be very, very versatile. There’s a yoga style for every person out there. You have to look for the best match. It seems that yoga is evolving every day, always bringing something new. We were amazed when we discovered Capoeira Yoga Fusion or CaYo, so we wanted to share it with you. What is CaYo? Is it a good fitness option? What are its benefits? Discover all those answers and more!
We could hardly think of something better than seeing two unique concepts fuse into an even more incredible one. That’s the case with Capoeira Yoga Fusion, a practice that combines all the good things we know about yoga with the not so known Capoeira.
The reason why this fusion is such a great one lies both in the similarities and the differences between these two practices. Yoga is seen as a calm practice; it focuses on breathing and relaxation. Many might describe it as slow-paced, depending on the kind of yoga we are talking about.
Capoeira, however, is all about the movement. Those who practice Capoeira must always perform the Ginga, the basic movement from which all the other ones come from. It consists of moving from one side to another. And of course, there’s the main characteristic of Capoeira: it is a martial art. How can we combine martial art with yoga?
To answer that, we must focus on their similarities. First of all, both practices focus intensely on harmony. To correctly perform Capoeira’s techniques, you need to feel the music and connect with it and your inner self. That sounds pretty similar to yoga and how it lets you find the harmony inside you. Both require to pay attention to the surroundings, but also to what’s happening inside you.
Overall, there’s a lot of things that happen to make CaYo such a good fusion. Let’s discover what these practices are about, how they can improve your lifestyle and well-being, and why they are such a good option when they are together.
Let's talk Yoga
Yoga is probably not a foreign concept for anybody. We all have heard about it at one point in our lives; some of us have tried it, and some have not.
But do we really know what Yoga is, what it entails? It is one of the most famous physical practices out there, and the word literally means “union.” It was initially designed to connect with the universe, to become aware of everything there is – starting with you.
The primary purposes of yoga are, as we said before, to become aware and to relax. To focus on oneself, to enlarge the perspective and consciousness, and to cultivate self-regulation. It is inherently spiritual by definition.
Picture by: Rishikesh Yogpeeth
It does not mean that it needs to be all about spirituality. Yoga also helps you become more flexible and strengthens your body over time. As a result, it helps to defeat stress, improves the ability to focus, increases body awareness, reduces anger, and has a good impact on your health.
The truth is that everybody should try yoga. Here, in Latin Spirit, we highly encourage you to give it a try, even if it seems intimidating. However, there’s a typical misconception regarding this topic: many seem to think of yoga as a static concept, with no variations. That’s very common but also very false. Yoga is, really, pretty welcoming, and diverse.
Acro Yoga. Picture by: Ruslan Zh
Different people can find themselves enjoying different types of Yoga. It indeed depends on what you’re looking for and what you expect to get from the practice. For example, if you’re an athletic person looking for a challenge, vinyasa might be your best pick. In contrast, if your priority is to relieve stress, then you may go for restorative yoga.
Considering that, we dare to say that there’s a yoga style for everybody, so it is pretty recommendable if you want to work on your well-being and health – both mental and physical. Whether you are a beginner or already have some background on this practice, Capoeira might be a perfect bonus to your yoga workout routine.
What is Capoeira then?
While many would define Capoeira as a martial art, it goes way beyond that definition. One could not say that Capoeira is a martial art without also mentioning that it has undeniable bonds with music, dance, and, of course, tradition. We could also define it as a harmonious game that only simulates contact. The flowing of the movements and maneuvers are the focus points of this practice.
It is practiced in Rodas, a gathering in the shape of a circle, with the two opponents being in the center. They move while being accompanied by the music produced with berimbaus and other percussion traditional instruments. The lower body is the protagonist, helped by the upper body. Kicks, spins, and complex maneuvers are in order, but never harming the opponent. It is almost a shared dance.
The rhythm of the music defines the rhythm of the fight. Opponents have to follow the berimbau’s pace and be accompanied by the claps and the crowd’s cheers. Their movements are encompassed; they don’t lose a beat.
Capoeira originated in Angola and was introduced in Brazil around the 17th century when the Portuguese brought slaves to Brazil from Africa. Capoeira has visible indigenous influences and was looked down upon and taken as a marginal act. It was not until the 19th century that it was brought back as a traditional martial art in Brazil by the Mestre Bimba.
Ever since that time, it has not stopped growing. Capoeira academies can be found worldwide, and it makes no class, race, or cultural distinction. It represents the Afro-Brazilianilian culture worldwide, and it was certified as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Among Capoeira’s benefits, we can find a decrease in stress levels produced by an increase in endorphin production. Of course, since it is an excellent workout option, we’ll find that it strengthens our body and makes us more flexible and agile. On the other side, constant exercise will lower your blood pressure, granting an improvement to our respiratory system.
Often described as fast-paced, Capoeira represents a cardio option on the workout routine. If you’re looking forward to building up your shape, then Capoeira might be a perfect help.
Discipline, concentration, and consciousness can also be put into practice while exploring Capoeira. You’ll find yourself growing stronger, not just physically but also mentally.
When Capoeira and Yoga meet
Now that we know what our ingredients are, it’s time to mix them: what happens when Capoeira and Yoga meet? An incredible fusion occurs.
If we want to understand this match, we have to look at these two practices’ core values: strength and spirituality. Both are incredibly focused on the consciousness of the body and the awareness of the self.
Multiple teachers have led this movement: Carlos Rodríguez created Camponyasa and is based in New York, and Amber Campion is responsible for Yogaeira, to name some examples. The practice can also be found in multiple Capoeira and Yoga academies all over the world. Vinyasa, due to its more athletic techniques, is a typical match for Capoeira.
The balance of the Capoeira Yoga Fusion is found in the movement: it grants a change in your yoga practice by adding dynamism, but it ensures an equal amount of flowing movement and holding postures. You will have a complete workout routine with only two essential elements: your body and your breath.
CaYo is for those who appreciate a challenge: it is fast-paced and active. If you like to move, dance, jump and enjoy a good cardio session, then this is precisely for you. If you haven’t tried it, you might just as well do it and fall in love with this fun workout!
Among the benefits of the Capoeira Yoga Fusion, you’ll see that, with proper training, you’ll feel how your core strength will grow bigger and bigger. Since it is cardio, you’ll feel happier due to the endorphins, burn calories, and it will also be easier to sleep at night. Coordination and stamina are also things that you’ll get while practicing CaYo.
Even if you don’t want to fuse them, practicing them together on their own can mean a lot of benefits to your body and will ease your way through the other. We highly recommend you to try it, don’t let it intimidate you! You’ll find yourself amazed by this beautiful mix and won’t regret it.