In order for us to provide our athletes with a well rounded fitness regimen, we offer yoga in addition to our CrossFit focused classes. Some of you may be thinking, CrossFitters doing Yoga….those two practices couldn’t be more opposite! In fact, CrossFit and Yoga are two practices that compliment one another perfectly.
There are many health benefits to practicing yoga and CrossFitters in particular could benefit greatly by adding yoga to their fitness plan. Physical benefits of yoga include:
Flexibility: Stretching your tight body in new ways will help it to become more flexible, bringing greater range of motion to muscles and joints. Over time, you can expect to gain flexibility in your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips. Think about how rewarding it would be to no longer be limited in your CrossFit lifts and skills, simply by properly stretching and gaining range of motion!
Strength: Although we focus on gaining strength in nearly all of our CrossFit classes, many yoga poses require you to support the weight of your own body in new ways. It is critical in your overall strength training to continually challenge your body and introduce new movements. Some yoga exercises require you to move slowly in and out of poses, which also increases overall strength.
Pain Prevention: Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain and other injuries. Many people who suffer from back pain spend a lot of time sitting at a computer or driving a car. That can cause tightness and spinal compression, which you can begin to address with yoga. Yoga also improves your alignment, both in and out of class, which helps prevent many other types of pain and injuries.
Better Breathing: Most of us breathe very shallowly into the lungs and don’t give much thought to how we breathe. Yoga breathing exercises, called Pranayama, focus the attention on the breath and teach us how to better use our lungs, which benefits the entire body. Certain types of breath can also help clear the nasal passages and even calm the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits.
Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. Nearly all of the skills involved in CrossFit require you to have finely tuned kinesthetic awareness. In Yoga, you are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved performance in CrossFit skills across the board.
We strongly encourage all of our athletes to incorporate at least one day of yoga per week into their CrossFit training. Classes at LCF are taught by Sara B.