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Shooting Guns Just Like Yoga, Says Yoga Teacher

in YD News

“I’m a yoga instructor, I work at a vegan bakery — and I also like to shoot guns.” Deirdre Gailey, lady gun owner, yogi, vegan, one of the many women purportedly finding the Zen in owning firearms and popping caps.

A recent story from CBS tells us that ladies, yes even those wearing skirts and yoga pants, enjoy the big guns like the big boys. It seems womens empowerment is coming fully armed. But do yoga and loud, eardrum-piercing, molten metal wielding weapons mix?

“Yoga’s Zen-like quality can be applied to shooting guns in a lot of ways. Shooting guns takes focus, concentration, and it doesn’t always have to be about violence,” says Gailey. We suppose it would make us pay more attention in class. But, we’ll stick to sweating our bullets, thanks!

What we really want to know is, can she shoot her target in niralamba sirsasana?

Noted: It’s one time we’re thankful Yoga Don Bikram collects Rolls Royces and the souls of yoga studios rather than bazookas and AK-47s.

[CBS via Jezebel]



17 comments… add one
  • Margaret

    It’s no different then practicing aikido (a Japanese martial art) or Kyudo (zen archery).

    • EJ

      As an Aikido practitioner I would have to completely disagree with you. The founder of Aikido created/synthesised the art of Aikido as a response to the horrors and violence of World War I. Though as a part of training one learns various attacks (punching, kicking, etc) this is only so that one’s partner can learn to defend against them. One literally CANNOT start a fight with Aikido; it is designed to always lower the level of aggression through the use of non-damaging techniques.

      A hand gun is at it’s essence designed to make mayhem in the human body; to kill or at least seriously injure. Aikido’s non violent approach (and the recognizing an opponent as human being who is just temporarily making the mistake of causing violence) is antithetical to the use of fire arms. Especially hand guns as (and I say this as someone who grew up using gunned and hunting) they are designed to kill PEOPLE. They are designed for violence.

  • daveydog

    Cross-cultural hahas aside, I can see yoga being VERY helpful to a competitive shooter. Years and years ago I used to compete in three-position match riflery. Having the core stability and breath control that yoga has given me would have certainly helped me at that sport. And — check out what the kneeling pose looks like:


    The mental discipline parallels are there, too.

  • Jenni J

    I was a member of my college’s NCAA Women’s Rifle Team, and I can tell you that unless you have full control over your mind and body, you won’t hit a target. In order to steady the rifle (I never did manage to qualify w/handguns, I’m way too small), you have to master your breathing in such a way that it is not interfering with targeting. When I started practicing yoga, I realized it was the same diaphragmatic breathing I had used on the range!

    Additionally, you have to have great balance and control over your muscles. If you’re too tense, the barrel will shake. If you’re too loose, the kick from the shot will cause you to miss your target. In a standing position, it’s the same kind of dynamic posturing used in stances like warrior, or mountain. For kneeling, it’s more like a lunge, since you’re essentially balancing on one foot and knee. And with prone position, you are more in a cobra or sphinx position.

    Finally, there’s the mind portion. You’re shooting against yourself more than anyone else. I used to participate as both an individual shooter and as part of a team–but ultimately the match is all in your head. It’s important to focus on your target and clear your mind of everything, but you have to do so within a certain allotted time. If you can’t get in your zen zone pretty quick, you’re more likely to get stressed out and clutter your mind w/thoughts that don’t belong, and ultimately affect your skills. The best match I ever had was when I was competing as an individual and had no pressure on me to get the best scores for the team. I just cleared my brain, and got the most 10’s I had ever scored.

    So yeah, I can understand why people would say there’s an equivalency in the two activities. On the other hand, I would NOT advise combining the two. ^_^

  • Yoga is EVERYTHING!


  • Vision_Quest2

    It’s no coincidence that over at Gaiam they have a yoga course called “Aim True Yoga” … and proof that yoga has come full circle, especially since it is taught to U.S. foot soldiers (you’ve got your free training right here): http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/fitforduty/yoga_pilates.shtml

  • David

    I guess it just all depends on what you think yoga is.

  • Ha ha, I guess reality just caught up with satire….from 2007


  • well, that’s one way of taking care of the whiners, complainers, and show-offs in your yoga class. bust out a handstand when I said child’s pose, mofo? feelin’ lucky, punk?

    • Vision_Quest2

      Well, Russian Roulette by another means … that will sure scare them back to the Top Gun Acro Yoga Class … and leave your class for the rest of us …

    • David

      happiness is a warm gun…

  • Seriously, it’s true. The same intense focus and internal control over breath and body are necessary for shooting guns properly and with some target success. My yoga practiced helped when I went to the shooting range…

  • Focus.. Focus Focus! Yoga helps with everything. especially when needing a cool head.


  • alex

    It is true. The only thing keeping shooting and yogaing separate is people’s stereotypes about both. Guns are not just for rednecks and mafia types, yoga is not just for new age hippies. sadly many people are firmly wedded to these dumb stereotypes. 🙂

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