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So comparable in movement that martial arts author John Barnes says you can pass one off as the other, yoga and capoeira are both rigorous and efficient workouts. Done effectively, they build aerobic stamina, muscle strength, versatility and balance. Although both can be too high-impact for newbies, experienced athletes can obtain a lot from training in both types, either separately or together.

History of Capoeira

According to capoeira historian Gerard Taylor, capoeira developed in Brazil during slavery. Drawing from the dance and combating arts of Africa, it was practiced first by slaves, then by soldiers and bad guys. Finally legislated in the very early 20th century, it’s actually because spread to most countries. Like numerous martial arts, its presence in the west has the tendency to focus on sports rather than battle capability.

History of Yoga

Yoga is so old that it’s mentioned in the Baghavad Gita: ‘I make a providing unto you of these exercises so that I could be fulled of divine strength’. As a meditative practice and exercise kind, it’s actually been practiced on the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years. According to yoga instructor Kerry Collette, it ended up being popular in the west during the extensive exploration of eastern religious beliefs in the 1960s. Its appeal spread as a kind of group fitness during the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Both yoga and capoeira are body weight exercises. This indicates they both utilize the weight of the practitioner’s body as resistance to construct muscle strength and to push bodies into stretches. Numerous capoeira and yoga positions use the exact same concepts to obtain the exact same outcomes, such as positioning body weight on the hands to boost the arms. Sometimes, both styles make use of identical steps with various names. Yoga’s ‘plank position’ is capoeira’s ‘cabecada.’


The chief distinction in between yoga and capoeira is that capoeira is practiced dynamically while yoga is exercised statically. Capoeira is practiced as part of a dance, including cartwheels and handstands into its standard dance step. Yoga advances from one stance to another, holding each pose long enough to establish the muscles. Note that this holds true of most styles and postures. Capoeira Angola is a substyle that slows movement in practice up until it’s almost static. Some postures of yoga use movement to enhance its efficiency.

Training Together

Because they work the exact same muscle groups to the exact same purpose, there’s no reason yoga and capoeira cannot be made use of together for workout. One alternative would be to train in capoeira on some days and in yoga on others. A second choice would be a single exercise that includes the static yoga presents with the vibrant capoeira moves. Trainer Gerard Taylor advises the ‘capoeira fartlek’: hold a yoga present for one minute, then spring from it into a minute of energetic capoeira motion, then return to a yoga posture. Repeat.


One major risk of training in capoeira and yoga is that of overtraining. Since both are strenuous workouts and work the very same muscle groups, it can be simple to overtire your muscles and even develop repetitive stress injuries. Fitness coach Ben Cohn suggests treating capoeira and yoga as the same type of workout when developing your exercise plan. For lots of people, this implies resting a minimum of one day between workouts, as opposed to alternating between capoeria and yoga without a time off between.