Yoga: It’s Awesome
By: Candice Case
I’m really excited about yoga coming to Northlake and wanted to let you know about the awesome-ness that is yoga. And why you need it. Desperately.
When you think of CrossFit classes and WODs, you think of barbells clanging, loud music, sweat dripping in a pool beneath you, and going, going, and going until “TIME!” How does getting your Zen on help with getting your Fran time lower? Lots.
Do you find it challenging keeping your heels on the ground when squatting? Do you struggle with full range of motion in your toes to bar? Can you even get your toes to the bar? Do you give up when the WOD gets tough? Yoga to the rescue!
Many CrossFitters struggle with movements because they lack flexibility and/or mobility. Flexibility is the range of motion of a joint non-specifically, like being about to touch your toes with your legs extended in a seated position. Mobility is about the range of motion under specific circumstance, such as maintaining proper position in an overhead squat. With mobility, there’s the issue of stability. Things that we want to move, should move and things we want to remain stable, should stay put.
Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through the full range of motion. By consistently working through hip opening and rotation poses, your mobility will improve as will your snatch and other lifts. Yoga also incorporates static stretches so you’ll be increasing your flexibility and touching your toes by Christmas. Oh, and all those tight hips and hamstrings contribute to lower back pain. Throw away the Tylenol and come stretch with us.
Take My Breath Away
How many of you are sucking wind in a workout, even when there’s no running programmed? Learning to breathe deeply and into your diaphragm will help sustain you through WODs and be more efficient in your movements. Yoga teaches you to regulate your breathing as you transition through poses. Imagine your Karen time when you learn to use your breath to manage your power and energy as you move through 150 wall balls. You’ll actually begin to love Karen.
Abs Are Made in the Kitchen Yoga Class
CrossFit movements require strength and stability and a strong and stable core will make all the difference in your workouts. The core is the center of the body from which all movements originate. So whether it’s handstand push-ups, burpees, or a deadlift, try performing one of these movements without engaging your core muscles. Ouch. And it probably didn’t look pretty either. Each yoga pose is designed to reinforce the muscles around the spine. Yoga also incorporates isometric holds which make the back and core strong and stable. In building strength, yoga helps alleviate the low back pain that comes from weak abs.
Strike a Pose, There’s Nothing To It
Yoga poses establish proper positioning of the body by maintaining neutral spine, stacking the joints on top of one another, and keeping balance and stability in movement and in static holds. Sounds a lot like a page out of the manual “How To Perform CrossFit Movements.” Naturally, this positioning and increased body awareness will transfer into your Olympic lifts and gymnastics skills. It will also help you maintain good posture in your daily routine, as you sit at your desk or strut your stuff across the parking lot. And don’t concern yourself with not knowing the yoga poses by name. When you started CrossFit, you didn’t know what an AMRAP, 1RM, or EMOM was either.
Often times in a workout, we want to keep up with the class rabbit or rush through the movements without being mindful of our form just to get to the end of the WOD. Yoga slows the mind and the body and makes us cognizant of what our bodies are telling us. We learn what it feels like to keep the chest high while squatting or lunging. Yoga allows us to focus when our breathing is labored, our muscles are tired, and we’re physically uncomfortable. We learn to quiet the mind and control the body with our thoughts and build mental fortitude. Yoga can help us bring our A Game to workouts.
Speed, intensity, and “going hard in the paint” are characteristic of CrossFit workouts. No one can successfully maintain a rigorous training schedule without rest and recovery. Yoga forces you to relax. There’s no holding Warrior One for time, no way to PR Child’s Pose. Just surrender.
Yin and Yang
Black and white, good and evil, sweet and salty, CrossFit and yoga. It just works.