Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Crazy bloody yoga!

CrossFitters go into a WOD knowing about the aftermath; the palm tears and blood, the soaked T-s and muscle seizures. Then I mention yoga and everyone groans. Let me tell you though that "sissy" stuff I ask you to do after your WOD ain't easy. In many ways it's just as difficult as our beloved Girls! As you can see in the picture above, you may end up bleeding for the yoga (that pic is actually me with legit post-yoga blood).

CrossFit and many other disciplines (I'm referring to things like Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, KBs, Olympic Lifting, various forms of dance etc.) require dedication.  Sure you can be a weekend warrior in any of the disciplines, but to truly understand and appreciate the program it's necessary to immerse yourself. We expect our workouts to push us to the edge of our abilities and then beyond. That is WHY we do them! We don't like being comfortable and we don't feel really alive unless we're a little sore from a new PR. Then we do what we can with our sleep and nutrition to make sure our body and mind can facilitate the push & the recovery. If you have ever ended a date early or changed your meal order because you had a date with your coach the next morning then you know what I mean.

Yoga does this too. It pushes us to the edge of our abilities and then beyond. Yoga asks you to hold on, breathe and relax while your brain is trying to rush through to the next position. Instead of sprinting, yoga asks you to embrace the suck. Sound familiar?

How many times have you worked on handstand pushups and thought about how your overhead press would get better?

Have you worked your back squat and thought about how they'd benefit your thrusters?

Have you thought about how a stronger KB swing may benefit your power cleans?

Have you thought about how the neuroendocrine stimulus of even just a 15 minute yoga routine will benefit everything you do?

Maybe when you found CrossFit your strength was power lifting and you had a monstrous deadlift. It probably took you awhile to get excited about handstand pushups or muscle ups right? But you had faith and allowed your discipline to push you out of your comfort zone. Maybe you still aren't thrilled when you see HSPUs written on the whiteboard, but I'm pretty sure that your Jerk (Olympic lift) is better than it ever was before you worked your gymnastic movements. All these movements are linked; one movement benefits another.

Can you see how this Parsva Bakasana (Side Crow) pose may help you develop some balance and stability through the wrists, shoulders & core?

Instead of handstand pushups, yoga has inverted poses like Pincha Mayurasana (feathered peacock) which helps strengthen and stretch the shoulders, chest and back. This is also a nice alternative to hand stand holds post-WOD (do it with heels resting on the wall as you would with a handstand hold) as it enables you to hold the inversion and strengthen the shoulders in a slightly easier way then with arms fully extended.

So if you think yoga is sitting with your eyes closed in room with a gong, chanting OM & touching your toes think again. It will challenge your strength, your balance, your mind and oh yeah, it just might make you bleed. This sh*t is hard.



  1. I absolutely love your blog! I started CrossFit 6 months ago and after following your blog I decided to try yoga this weekend. I went to a class that one of my fellow CrossFitters teaches and it was amazing! I will definitely be going back once a week to supplement my 4 days of CrossFit and training. Thank you!

    -Jo Welch

  2. Jo that's GREAT news! You will be so glad you did. My Overhead squat just jumped up thanks to yoga and my HSPUs have VASTLY improved as well! When you have any breakthroughs like this please let me know! BTW, i hope this declaration to do yoga 1x a week is part of your "Take Risks & Succeed/Fail Boldy" plan :)
    All the best,