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Why Crossfit Needs Yoga

"The greatest adaption to CrossFit occurs between the ears." – Greg Glassman
Post from - "The primary intention of Yoga is to master the mind, body and emotions to enhance our way of life. In many ways, CrossFit looks for the same outcome. We show up at the gym regularly, we push hard against our physical & mental barriers, always striving towards improving ourselves. By pushing forward, we come to know our capabilities, and we become students of our bodies and less of a slave to the limiting beliefs of the mind (We've all seen the "Can't is the new C word" t-shirts, right?). In yoga, we show up to our mat regularly and face the same barriers – but with a very different kind of effort. We learn to back off when the body requests, to recalibrate ourselves towards awareness and focus on the restorative aspects of movement. The result of combining these two methodologies can achieve incredible results not only in our physical bodies but also in the way in which we move in the world. CrossFitters all too often overlook flexibility, balance and alignment. Routinely stretching with precision will help to prevent injuries, can heal old injuries, help with recovery time, and help us to gain mastery over the body. Yogis often overlook the need to create adaptations to (healthy) stress so that our bodies can become stronger and more functional in daily movement. I am a firm believer that you cannot have one without the either. Research shows that the two types of individuals most prone to injury are individuals who are too flexible and individuals that are too tight. The first causes laxity in the joint, the latter causes problems such as loss of range of motion and pulling of the musculature on the skeletal structure causing improper alignment. Neither is better nor worse – just different. Both yoga and CrossFit serve your temple in different ways.

5 More Reasons to add Yoga to your CrossFit!

  1. Improve Flexibility and Range Of Motion:  CrossFitters all too often overlook flexibility when pounding out a WOD (Workout of the Day) until they realize its necessity in certain movements. Routinely incorporating both dynamic and static stretching will help to prevent injuries, can heal old injuries, help with recovery time, and of course, give you more freedom in your joints where you need it. For those of you whose heels lift in squats – I'm looking at you!
  2. Flush Out Muscles & Reduce DOMS:  Yoga is like a soothing balm for sore muscles. Sometimes, all the supplements in the world can't save you from the lactic acid buildup and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness from Fran or a Hero WOD. Yoga can be a great way to flush out your muscles naturally by twisting, shearing and releasing tight tissues. This brings more blood to the surrounding areas which is a natural lubricant and rinses extraneous build up away and give you back your stride – right back into your CrossFit routine!
  3. Better Breath Control = Stronger Core Balance:  A great coach will teach you that your breath can bring you into mental focus and give you core support when you need it most (*cough cough* front squats *cough*). High-performance athletes often use yoga-like exercises and specific breathing techniques to achieve powerful focus and strength. Additionally, understanding and developing your breath capacity will not only strengthen your core stability for Olympic lifting but also give you the extra 'oomph' you need for short runs and endurance-based WODs.
  4. Body awareness & Proprioception:  Body awareness is not something we're born with. To understand where our body is in space is a developed skill and our natural sixth sense. To orient yourself in a headstand (and hold it) or to get under the bar in a Snatch requires practice and a keen, almost innate, sense of where we are in relation to the rest of earth and space. Ask any high diver, acrobat, break dancer or high bar gymnast how important this skill is. They get it; you need it; Yoga can give it to you. The more you fine tune this skill, the more efficient you will be in any lift, burpee or box jump you ever attempt!
  5. Gearing Down with Integrity:  Much like how CrossFit and Yoga are on different ends of the spectrum, our nervous system has 2 gears: high (sympathetic) and low (parasympathetic). CrossFit engages our sympathetic response (SNS) and yoga engages our parasympathetic response (PNS). SNS gives power to fast-twitch muscles and explosive movement while PNS offers fluidity and consistency in movement (slow-twitch).  You wouldn't drive your car engine full-tilt and then slam on the brakes – nevermind never changing the oil! Incorporating yoga movements and breathing towards the end of a WOD can greatly improve your recovery time and help your whole body move into your day or into a sweeter sleep.
Bonus round: Bringing all you've got means nothing if you can't keep it. The biggest complaints I hear about yoga, is that "its boring", its "not challenging", you "can't stay focused", "I'm not flexible enough", blah, blah, excuse, blah. You are master of nothing if you cannot gather your mind to the moment. The biggest muscle we have to conquer is the one that tells us what our reality is. Start here. So remember, dear CrossFitters, whatever your focus is: efficiency to squeeze out some extra rounds in Cindy; remembering what it feels like to reach your toes without effort or just to feel really, REALLY good - find your center, and get your yoga on." Adding another YOGA/MOBILITY class to the schedule downtown on Tuesdays at 7:35pm starting on April 1st. Time to think about upgrading your membership so you can attend the extras - yoga, mobility, gymnastics, oly lifting, conditioning, Friday night Fights and HP! Contact your coach to set that up! You are also welcome to pay a reduced drop in fee for any classes as the Zone... Bronze - $18.50 Silver - $15.00 More details to come!