I'm a mix of CrossFit chick and restorative yoga teacher. I also teach yoga at New Zealand's longest-established CrossFitNZ gym run by a fitness industry leader, Darren Ellis.
The two movement disciplines don't usually mix; but they should. They're actually a movement marriage made in heaven.
Cue raised eyebrows in the room!
Many CrossFitters look at yogis sideways, but they could learn grace and gather more mobility tools from them. While, yogis don't usually get enough high-intensity effort into their routines.
Firstly, it's important to note CrossFit is a blend of 10 general physical skills:
Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, power, speed, agility, accuracy, co-ordination, flexibility and balance.
You'll notice the last three physical skills listed actually underpin yoga too.
Ten reasons CrossFitters need yoga
1 CrossFitters need good mobility in order to lift well — and heavy. Yoga is the ultimate tool for mobility and flexibility.
2 Yoga helps you ace balance. You need to be able to control the placement of the body's centre of gravity in relation to its base at all times.
3 Proprioception is paramount. By the way, this fancy word is about knowing where your limbs are in space. Call it body awareness if you prefer. Yeah, it's a good idea to know where that heavy load is positioned above your head!
4 Static stretching can bring length back to tight muscles. This is about moving well after class (and the next day). Or do you prefer to walk like a Lego-man?
5 Yoga teaches CrossFitters ways to stretch their tight muscles so they can re-balance their bodies. Most CrossFitters only know a couple of stretches, but there are thousands. So stretching can become more varied and fun.
6 Yoga helps with injury-prevention. Just ask any elite athlete if they stretch and they'll say "yes!"
7 Yoga can help you spend less cash at your physio by preventing injuries.
8 Yoga helps to fine-tune your focus. This can seriously uplift your performance.
9 The meditation side of yoga can help you to de-stress and calm your nervous system. Recovery is crucial for fuelling PBs (Personal Bests).
10 Yogis know how to harness the power of breathing well. That's a tool handy for weightlifting too.
— Rachel is a wellness expert, PT, yoga teacher and author of Balance: Food, Health + Happiness. Order the book via inspiredhealth.co.nz. Follow Rachel on Instagram (rachelgrunwell) or Facebook (InspiredHealthNZ).