Rachel teaches yoga at CrossFitNZ on Monday nights.
Pic courtesy of CrossFit Newmarket. It was a dress-up comp – so hence the Baywatch outfit chuckle!

By Rachel Grunwell

10 Reasons Why CrossFitters Need Yoga I’m a mix of CrossFit chick and restorative yoga teacher. I also teach yoga at NZ’s longest-established CrossFitNZ gym run by a fitness industry leader, Darren Ellis.   The two movement disciplines don’t usually mix; But they should. They’re actually a movement marriage made in heaven.   Cue raised eyebrows in the room!   Many CrossFitters look at yogis sideways, but they could learn grace and gather more mobility tools from them. While, yogis don’t usually get enough high-intensity effort into their routines.   Firstly, it’s important to note that CrossFit is a blend of ten general physical skills: Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, power, speed, agility, accuracy, co-ordination, flexibility and balance.   You’ll notice the last three physical skills listed actually underpin yoga too.   10 reasons why CrossFitters need yoga…   1.   CrossFitters need to move well (ie have good mobility) in order to lift well – and heavy. Yoga is the ultimate tool for mobility and flexibility.   2.   Yoga helps you ace balance. You need to be able to control the placement of the body’s centre of gravity in relation to its base at all times.   3.   Proprioception is paramount. By the way this fancy word is just about knowing where your limbs are in space. Call it body awareness if you prefer. Yeah, it’s a good idea to know where that heavy load is positioned above your head!   4.   Static stretching after class can bring length back to tight muscles. This is all about moving well after class (and the next day)! Or do you prefer to walk like a lego-man?   5.   Yoga teaches CrossFitters numerous ways to stretch their tight muscles so they can re-balance their body any time they get a niggle. Most CrossFitters only know a couple of stretches, but there are actually thousands. So stretching can become more varied and fun.   6.    Yoga helps with injury-prevention. Just ask any elite athlete if they stretch and they’ll say “yes!” So you can learn from the best in the business.

rachel doing yoga pose at thievery studio

  7.    Yoga can help you spend less cash at your physio ie injury prevention. Do you really need any more reasons?   8.    Yoga helps to fine-tune your focus. This can seriously uplift your performance.   9.   The meditation side of yoga can help you to de-stress and calm your nervous system. Recovery is crucial for fuelling PBs (Personal Bests). If you don’t recover enough and push and push and push… then you can burn-out or your body can break down and injure…   10. Yogis know how to harness the power of breathing well. That’s a tool handy for weightlifting too.   This blog was originally published in Indulge magazine and the Herald online. Rachel is a weekly columnist for these two media avenues. 

Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Wellness expert, PT, yoga-teacher, CrossFit enthusiast & author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness which boasts 30 global experts sharing science-backed wisdom on living healthier & happier (and 30 recipes too). Order the book via https://inspiredhealth.co.nz  Follow Rachel on Instagram http and InspiredHealthNZ’s Facebook https://www.facebook.com/InspiredHealthNZ/