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I had a unique opportunity today; one of my fellow newly minted yoga teacher friends is also a trained budokon teacher, and was asked to give a special class at Joschi Studio for a few of us.

Just what is budokon? In a nutshell, it’s a mix of yoga and martial arts with some animal movements thrown in (a more in depth explanation here) Here’s a video that includes some of the movements we learned today.

It helps tremendously to come to budokon with an understanding of yoga movements as many are included, but there’s also quite a bit of reframing your muscle memory of how flows and poses go, since it’s not quite the same. At first a lot of the hopping and switching sides and legs and arms was a little confusing, but like anything with a little repetition it clicked a little more and when we sped up the flow, I started to have fun and even feel a little badass. But boy o boy is it a workout, this isn’t really a practice that you can come into without some sort of movement in your life already.

After almost an hour of various fighting stances, we ended the class with animal movements, which was, while still strength and agility building, pretty fun and playful. Mats aside, we moved back and forth across the room as gorillas, chimpanzees, frogs, and  other animals.

I could see incorporating some of budokon’s take on yoga poses into my classes (especially the roll through to plank from down dog), and the animal movements seem like a great way to snap people out of taking themselves so seriously and play with their strength. Booker is a great teacher and will be subing the 1:30pm Sunday flow yoga class at Joschi and incorporating some budokon in, I’m going to try to check it out again.