Sunday, August 2, 2009
Yoga (Part II)
Do CrossFitters need yoga?
Yoga improves the flexibility of the body by improving the range of motion. There are various types of yoga, each having its own focus area. E.g. Hatha yoga has proved to positively increase the muscle movement i.e. the flexibility. Yin yoga helps to move the flexibility from muscle tissue to connective tissue which is very beneficial. We can say that yoga and CrossFit are somewhat similar because both include movements as well as poses or postures. The difference is that yoga focuses on the physical as well as the mental. We can say that a CrossFitter may look good but a yogi may feel good. Hence, regular CrossFit WODs may improve the flexibility of the body externally but, to achieve a complete development of flexibility CrossFitters should opt for yoga exercises. Adding yoga exercises to regular CrossFit practice has been found to increase flexibility, improve WOD performance and decrease stress levels and improve mental fitness in CrossFitters. Choosing the right yoga technique is very essential for a CrossFitter. Those who focus on the joints and muscles may opt for kundalini yoga whereas for strength and endurance athanga yoga style may be chosen. The flexibility requirement of the body can easily be achieved by a proper yoga workout. CrossFitters need to constantly challenge their bodies by holding their bodies in stretched positions for longer periods and stretching more and more every day. It is advisable that they do this under the guidance of a certified yoga trainer.
Benefits of yoga over CrossFit:
Yoga helps to improve the mental functioning
Improves lung capacity therefore higher level of energy is seen
Helps to reduce stress
Help in maintaining the balance in dances like ballet dancing etc.
Helps improve stamina
A few poses for flexibility are as below:
Tadasana - Stand straight with your feet together and hands at your side. Now slowly raise both your hands upwards, fingers pointing towards the sky. Now slowly raise your heels as much as you can and stand on your toes. Repeat 3-4 times.
Trikonasana - Stand straight with your legs apart. Now slowly raise both your hands on each side so that they are parallel to the shoulder. Bend towards the right side such that the index finger of your right hand touches the right toe. Simultaneously, your left hand should go upwards. Return to normal position and repeat with the other side.
Similarly one can try poses like Bhujangasana, Shirshasana, Sarvangasana to gain flexibility, strength and power in your body.