Somehow my post about my views on yoga as a Crossfitter just disappeared. Apparently it was a draft and I just wrote over it (who knows how I did that as I had posted the post and you all loved it….), and it is gone. So I will do my best to recreate that. Grr…..
OK, so yesterday I did some research about how yoga is something that has sparked my interest and I thought I would do some more research on it and see if it would be beneficial as a CrossFitter to do. I was lucky enough to find this fantastic article from the International Journal of Physical Education, Sports & Health that focused on the health and physical benefits of yoga for athletes! I thought, “Hey, that’s me!” So I took a read, it was called Benefits of Yoga in Sport- A Study.
I have been doing CrossFit for almost 3 years now and love it not because I am trying to become the best competitor out there, but because it has kept me in shape and I am the strongest I have ever been. The one downfall I have is when it comes to stretching and mobility pre and post WOD. In steps yoga, which our CrossFit box offers every Sunday. Now, on Sunday’s I usually go to lift as I am unable to on Saturdays, so I never got to yoga. But, time and time again I suffer from tightness in my lower back and in my hips, mainly my hip flexors and abductors. So after reading this article I came to a few conclusions on how yoga might be something I should absolutely get into and it could lead to me becoming a better version and a healthier version of myself.
I never knew that yoga has been around for over 5,000 years, this blew my mind as I thought it was something that came about back in the 1970’s or 1980’s when all those other new-age exercises were introduced. And there are more than one type of yoga! I mean, I am not sure why this surprised me, but I found it cool, like with pilates there are different types, in yoga there are as well, and it is not just regular and hot yoga!
So how could doing yoga benefit me, well here it is:
1) Adding yoga into your workout and using it in tandem with your strength and resistance training workouts will help reduce the risk of injury. Say what?! This is a pretty significant statement as even the topic of static and dynamic stretching has come to be so controversial these days, even though they can be beneficial, it appears that yoga can help the same way. I am always worried that I could injury myself and then I see people get injured, let it be in CrossFit (usually not the case though), or from doing a sport and get hit hard, it is scary. But if you do these two types of exercise it helps increase the strength in your core, in your joints, and in your connective tissues making them less susceptible to injury.
2) Yoga will help increase flexibility, pose, and balance. Well, this makes sense that yoga focuses heavily on these three things. Have good flexibility, pose, and balance if beneficial not just in CrossFit, but in any sport or even in Olympic weight lifting. In CrossFit we have to be able to do all sorts of movements that might be out of our comfort zone and need to be flexible for. We also need to have really good balance for everything we do. So, again, yoga, big plus for CrossFitters!
3) Yoga can help build strength in our joints, in our connective tissues, and help decrease old scar tissue! This is something I think I need to feel for myself, however, relating it back to how it affects our musculature it makes sense that our joints and connective tissues would be impacted as well. Joints and flexibility sort of go together as we are looking to be more flexible through our joints, which is where our connective tissues (basic anatomy lesson, connective tissues are what keep our joints….connected!). Now, the matter of the scar tissue, think about it for a second. Let’s say you had ACL surgery and have some scar tissue built up in your knee, then you decided to try yoga and became more mobile in that knee. The progression yoga can take you through might actually wear down or break down the scar tissue as the actual connective tissue becomes healthier and stronger itself and can lead you to being able to bend your that extra few degrees you were unable to bend to months ago. Cool, right?
4) Yoga can help with mental health. Now, this is a big one for me personally as I am a worry-wort, suffer from depression, and OCD. My OCD is centralized around paranoia. It sucks, but everyday I work on it and most days I’m fine and you would never know that at times I am having a war going on in my head. But those days where my brain just does not shut up, I wish I knew how to help that. With yoga, they say that it helps free your mind of what does not to be worried about and you try to focus on patience. Now, patience and I have problems, I am very impatient at times, but I can almost say that I’m impatient because I stress and worry so much about things that have no business being in my head anyway. Makes sense to me. One of my clients at work said that when you first begin yoga they help guide you through how to stop the loud noises in your head, which I will definitely need as no matter how much I try to do it myself, I fail. But, again, with help and proper instruction I bet I can overcome it.
So, yeah, yoga, seems like a legit thing. I just really wish my original post had not up and left me as you all loved it, but I am hoping reading it again is not too annoying. HAHA, look I’m worried about this now. Who cares, technology happens doesn’t it?!
If I have offended anybody with my opinions I am truly sorry as that was not the intention of my post. There is always one troll out there, but all I wanted to do was share some positive insight on another type of exercise that I might enjoy and desperately need to incorporate into my life to stay healthy. Hope I helped open your eyes too!
Have a great day guys!