4 Good Reasons Why CrossFitters (and Everyone) should Do Yoga
There are 4 good reasons why CrossFitters (and everyone) should do yoga. Well actually there are hundreds! But these are the top 4 on our list at CrossFit Furnace that relate to everyone, regardless of who you are, how old you are, how long you have been training for or what you may or may not have heard about yoga in the past. Yoga really is beneficial to everyone regardless of where you are in life and training and this is why we want everyone to give it a try.
So without further delay, here are our top 4 good reasons why CrossFitters (and everyone) should do Yoga.
1. Strength. Everyone needs it. Yoga improves your overall strength. It gets you using your muscles in ways you wouldn’t normally use them. You are moving through different movement patterns and then holding your body in those positions. Just as doing push-ups, sit-ups, pull ups and other body weight activities in CrossFit build strength, Yoga does the same, in a different format. Don’t be fooled into thinking that yoga is “easy”. When done correctly, strength is critical to achieve some asanas (poses).
2. Balance. Balance is King in yoga. You can be as strong as an ox but if you can’t balance, then you are going to struggle with even some of the more basic movements in Yoga. This translates extremely well to your progress as a CrossFit athlete. If you can’t balance then mastering those pistols will be that much harder!
3. Flexibility. Tell me, what sport doesn’t demand flexibility to some degree? Most sports require you to be able to hit full range of motion. CrossFit is no exception. If you have extremely tight shoulders, preventing you from locking out overhead, your hip flexors or hamstrings are so tight it makes dropping under the bar slow, clunky and just awkward, then yoga will help! Yoga is all about learning how to get mobile, flexible and creating body awareness during movement. How could this possibly NOT help you with CrossFit?
4. Control. Both physical and mental control. This is possibly my favourite reason to give yoga a try. While I can understand that some people struggle with the idea that yoga has a portion of meditation involved, don’t let it put you off. When you practice yoga regularly, the physical control benefits are obvious. Yoga helps you develop control over your body with increases in strength, balance and flexibility. You can control your body through movements (instead of just flinging your body forward and hoping for the best!) and you start to find this translating to better physical control of the bar and your body during CrossFit.
Yoga also forces you to develop mental and emotional control over your body. Yoga teaches you to to reflect on your positioning, your breathing, your motivations and your limitations in movement. Yoga demands the mental discipline to keep focused through movement while concentrating on breathing and this is a vital tool that all CrossFitters should learn!
How many times have we seen someone struggling towards the end of a WOD, their breathing collapses and they keep stopping, putting the bar down or walking on a run, thinking, I can’t do this while gasping for breath? Then when the coach or a mate tells them to stop, take a few deep breaths, concentrate on just the next movement and work through it, they manage to focus, control their breathing, pick the bar up, finish their reps or start to run the rest of the way? Yoga can help you channel this internal discipline to focus and not allow your brain to send negative and fear based signals to the body to keep you trapped and unable to finish a WOD within the time cap and with the weights we KNOW you can lift!
We would love to see you all giving yoga a try. Not just one class or even two, but dedicating yourself to 4 – 8 weeks of regular yoga practice to see if you then notice an improvement in your CrossFit and general wellbeing.
For more information about the CrossFit Furnace Yoga classes run by Malika Warda Yoga, Don’t hesitate to call us on 0407 080 618, email us on [email protected] or simply fill in the CONTACT US form on our website.
You do not need to be a CFF member to take advantage of the Malika Ward Yoga classes. We welcome drop in’s at all our Yoga classes. Come down and give it a try! There are Three classes a week available with more classes to come.
* all photos are used with permission and are of Haydn Shadforth. Haydn ran our first yoga classes at CrossFit Furnace and is the Manager and Head Coach at CrossFit Hawthorn East and the Head Yoga Instructor at Kula Yoga and Wellness