There are 8 limbs in Yoga: Yamas, external relations; Niyamas, internal relations; Asana, physical postures; Pranayama, breath work; Pratyahara, controlling the senses; Dharana, concentration; Dhyana, meditation; & Samadhi, liberation. I like to pretend that CrossFit is the 9th limb.
The intention of Yoga is to gain a control over the mind, body, emotions, & spirit. In many ways, CrossFit seeks to achieve the same outcome. Everyday we show up at the gym, we push ourselves both physically & mentally, always striving towards improving ourselves. I believe that by practicing the limbs of Yoga, we can directly & positively influence our abilities within CrossFit.
On the Yoga mat, we learn how to still the mind-stuff that rises: “this sucks,” “how long is he going to hold us in this posture,” “my legs are KILLING me,” “hmmm, what do I need to remember to pick up at the grocery store?” We learn how to turn our breath into a tool to subside discomfort. We learn how to concentrate intently. We learn how to enter states of meditation (which you might have experienced during a 5k run, or 2k row.)In Yoga, we also move and stretch our bodies, which is what people typically think of when they hear the word “Yoga.” Fitness has 10 components: Cardiovascular/Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Agility, Coordination, Balance, and Accuracy. As CrossFitters, all too often we overlook flexibility and balance. Routinely stretching will help to prevent injuries, can heal old injuries, help with recovery time, and help us to gain mastery over the body.
Want to create a stronger bottom position in any Olympic lift? Want your Snatch PR to increase? Want to feel more comfortable with gymnastics movements? I dare you to come check out the Yoga class! You don’t practice Yoga BECAUSE you are flexible; you practice Yoga to BECOME flexible.
See you at the box!
Sat Nam & Namaste