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7 Reasons Why CrossFit Athletes Should Practice Yoga

Alexis Kristan
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If you’re a CrossFit athlete, you probably flip tires or do handstand pushups on a regular basis. But when is the last time you did a Downward Facing Dog or busted out a chaturanga? We know yoga is good for us no matter what other workouts or training programs we do. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a few reminders as to why you should hit the yoga mat after the squat rack.
 
Here are 7 reasons why CrossFit athletes should integrate some yoga into their workout routine:
 

1. Can you touch your toes?

If you know that you need to be more flexible, you should try yoga. The stronger you get and the more muscles you build, the less flexible and more prone to injury you become. Basic poses like Down Dog, Warrior II and Pigeon can increase mobility in places like the hips and shoulders, which are necessary for plenty of CrossFit basics like overhead squats and pistols.
 

2. Nail the challenging moves

Yoga encourages emotional, mental, and physical balance. Balance is highlighted by Greg Glassman, the founding father of CrossFit, as one of the 10 general physical skills. Yoga poses like Tree, Eagle, or Dancer’s pose can help you nail some of the tougher CrossFit moves that require a little more balance.
 

3. Breath matters

Obviously, you’ve been breathing your entire life, but what you may not know is that how you breathe is a major determining factor in your workout success. Yoga teaches you how to breathe and move effectively so you can go deeper into postures. Breath oxygenates your muscles and also calms your mind. So, whether you’re trying to move deeper into your backbend or complete one more box jump – how you breathe matters.
 

4. Variety

Workouts come in all shapes and sizes – some exercise regimens are more intense and challenging than others, yet they all offer important and unique benefits. Yoga is one of those rare workout routines that incorporates strength, flexibility, and cardio. Since CrossFit is designed to be all-encompassing as well, why not practice a yoga flow a few times a week to augment your workout routine?
 

 

5. Unlock your full potential

Yoga unlocks potential you didn’t know you had. Here’s a secret about yoga that CrossFit athletes might not know. Yoga is not all stretching . . . it is super challenging and also lots of fun! Arm balances and inversions like crow pose and forearm stand can be a great adventure for athletes. These more advanced poses involve strength and mental determination that you already have from all those hours spent at your local CrossFit gym.
 

6. Down time

Yoga gives you time to relax. When was the last lime you took five minutes at the end of a workout to simply rest? After your yoga practice, you’ll take a final savasana during which you disengage all of your muscles and simply allow your mind and body to relax. Savasana gifts a few moments of much-needed rest for the hardworking athlete.
 
Recommended read: 10 Lessons You Can Learn From Savasana
 

7. Expand your family

Chances are, you already have an awesome group of people you sweat it out with on a regular basis. Creating good vibes with the same people you do CrossFit with can take your relationships and the community feeling of your CrossFit gym to the next level. Doing yoga with your CrossFit pals builds camaraderie.
 

Now that you’re better aware of the benefits of using yoga to complement a CrossFit routine, next time you head to the gym, think about dusting off your old yoga mat or maybe trying some poses for the first time. Either way, remember that yoga is for everyone, it’s a great augmentation to any other workout, and the benefits are endless.
 

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Alexis Kristan

Lexi is a college student currently studying Psychology at Colorado State University Pueblo. She is passionate about yoga as well as hunting and conservation. Her other interests include: cuddling the family pug, reading classic literature, collecting vinyl records, working cattle at the family ranch, and anything outdoors. You can find her on her blog: welldoneyoga.com

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