Why CrossFit + Yoga = Awesomeness
by Cindy Lau, owner of CrossFit Kindred
- How can practicing yoga benefit a CrossFit athlete?
- How do you balance doing CrossFit and yoga?
I love CrossFit. I also love Bikram yoga. So I’m often puzzled to hear the occasional CrossFitter disparaging yoga as, essentially, weak sauce. On the contrary, I’ve experienced CrossFit and yoga as the perfect complements. Having practiced Bikram yoga daily for about a year and a half before I began CrossFitting, I immediately found that I was ahead of the game in several ways because of my consistent yoga practice; in fact, it’s been my secret weapon!
My most obvious edge up is flexibility. How many stiff guys do you know who show up at the box unable to even think about getting into the bottom of a squat with a stable midline? Not a problem for me. From duck walks and air squats to the clean and snatch, quickly dropping into the hole or under the bar felt natural to me from the start. I was able to find the right positioning, and from there it was just a question of building my technique and strength across that full ROM.
But the biggest win I’ve experienced being a Bikram yogini has been mental fortitude. If you’ve ever taken a Bikram yoga class, you know what I mean! According to Bikram Choudhury, who created Bikram yoga, the five qualities of mind to be cultivated are faith, self-control, determination, concentration, and patience. I really noticed I could apply these skills to CrossFit right away–staying focused on the next rep, pacing myself to finish strong and stay at my edge, and applying that calm yet bulletproof grit I got from my yoga practice.
So to the naysayers I say: find what works for you–and don’t knock it ‘til you try it!