Let’s talk chemistry – what happens when you mix the zen nature of Yoga with the high intensity of CrossFit?

A match made in heaven, I would say.

As an avid Yogi with more CrossFit loving friends than I can count on both hands, it seemed completely obvious to me that these two practices would complement one another. And after seeing two of those friends benefit significantly from joining the yoga movement, I was more convinced than ever that these two practices can exist harmoniously – and in fact to the great benefit of both. Yoga is the Yin to Crossfit’s Yang!

How, you may ask? Let me explain.

The Magic Three Reasons…

#1 Flexibility

Flexibility or mobility, as many CrossFitters refer to it, is essential in both yoga and CrossFit. Several of the fundamental movements in CrossFit require the athlete to have a full range of motion, for example sinking deep into a squat while maintaining heel-to-floor contact.

Basic yoga poses such as downward dog, pigeon and warrior II help to reinforce external rotation in the hip and shoulder which is critical for several of the most common movements in CrossFit. By practicing these yoga poses regularly you will notice an improvement in your overall mobility. Boom!

#2 Breathing

Whether you’ve CrossFitted or not, I’m sure you’ve completed a burpee or two in your lifetime. Imagine trying to perform this movement without breathing properly. Fail, right?

In Yoga we are familiar with the importance of breath awareness, moving through postural transitions using your inhale and exhale, one movement per breath, a practice beloved especially of lovers of Vinyasa.

This practice transfers seamlessly into CrossFit as timing your breath to the rhythm of particular movements is extremely important for staying on point.

Additionally, yoga teaches us how to breathe deeply into the diaphragm. This deep breathing helps us produce more power and sustain movements for longer periods of time which is effective in both yoga and CrossFit alike.

#3 Balance

Both CrossFit and Yoga require a healthy level of balance, as most of the fundamental movements require you to achieve stability.

Tree, Eagle or Half Moon poses can help you build the stability required to perform CrossFit movements like pistol squats. Chair pose can help improve your weighted overhead squat – in fact the list is almost endless!

BONUS: Community

It’s fairly evident how complementary CrossFit and Yoga are, but here’s one more incredible reason to start implementing both practices into your life – they are both all about community.

Both of these practices believe in connecting people with a common goal, which ultimately creates a unique and supportive community. Not only do both aim to connect people to each other, but they also unite the individual with his or her mind and body.

You see, most CrossFitters start because they want to develop full body strength. Though mobility plays a role in CrossFit, these super-athletes are more likely to experience imbalances in their body from all that weightlifting. To counterbalance the tightness and imbalance between muscle groups, you can introduce Yoga. And vice versa.

Now tell me, if being part of one community can be so fulfilling, can you imagine how much greater it would feel to be a part of TWO?

Are you a CrossFit Yogi or vice versa? If so, why do you believe they complement one another? Share with us in the comment section below!

About The Author

Jules Barber

Jules Barber is the Founder & Creator of Yoginomics. Having worked in a golden cage in London for 15 years she sold out of her business to become a yoga teacher, corporate wellness specialist and location independent entrepreneur, on a mission to mentor and coach the next generation of amazing yogis - teachers and students alike.

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