Boxing and Yoga

Recently I treated myself to a 1:1 yoga session.

I am very much interested in learning as much as I possibly can about the practice of yoga. I have been familiar with the physical practice of yoga for a number of years, but my understanding of its principles and origin is limited.

During my first 1:1 I was introduced to the Ahimsa principle which means, do no harm.

The term ‘do no harm’ includes harm to yourself, others, animals and objects. As a boxer and boxing coach, I wondered; is the sport of boxing something that goes against this principle?

For me, boxing training has always been a way for me to connect with my spirituality. I wanted to explain this at my 1:1 but couldn’t find the words. I just know that it’s something I’ve always had a deep passion for. Something innate.

On my way home I wondered how to put into words my feelings about boxing and spirituality.

So here we go…

What does the word spirituality actually mean?

Spirituality: The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

When I was around nine or ten years old I was lucky enough to see a film called, Rocky. For those of you who don’t know, the film is about an underdog boxer who is given a chance at a world title.

The film made a deep and lasting impression on me. Here was a man who had no family to speak of, no friends and no money. He lacked in every area that our society deems so valuable, and yet, he was full of kindness and compassion. He was concerned only with doing what is right, both inside and outside of the ring.

This mans heart beat with love, with no trace of anger or bitterness and all he wanted to do was ‘go the distance’, which in boxing terms means reach the end of the bout. Despite his perceived lack, this man only ever wanted to give, and give his best.

I guess you could say he was a spiritual man, concerned with the human spirit as opposed to material and physical things.

At the age of nine or ten I could not have put this into words but the way he was and the way he chose to behave resonated with my core. I really felt like I could understand him and it made me determined in my own life to give my best despite my personal challenges, following my own moral compass in the absence of a caregivers.

When I put my gloves on as an adult, I am reminded always of these spiritual principles. When I step into the ring to spar or compete, it has always been with a willing participant of an equal ability.

So, does the sport of boxing go against the Ahimsa principle?

In short…No.

Namaste : )





Author: zoepattersonfightingback

Practice what you love with love, working IN the moment and not FOR a moment. The world does not stop for defeat or for victory and neither should you. I have known victory and I am no stranger to defeat. Despite my personal challenges I still wake each day with the intention to practice what I love and this has served me well. I am an England boxing coach and qualified personal trainer, working hard to help others practice what they love.

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