Written by Noel Poff
YogaWOD is a practice designed to address your limitations and help keep you at the top of your game!
It’s no mystery why a tradition, thousands of years old, has stood the test of time and is now one of the highest grossing activities in the fitness industry. It’s because yoga works, and it works for anyone.
The same can be said of classic forms of strength and conditioning. Though they often are treated as activities reserved for “yogis” and “jocks”, the benefits they have for basic human health and function are almost impossible to ignore.
Practitioners often speak of both the physical and psychological transformations that occur as a result of introducing these activities into their lives. As a result of their success, we’ve seen a boom in both yoga studios and fitness studios across the globe.
But now that we’ve been given so many choices in regards to how we train our bodies, it’s been both a blessing and a curse. What do you choose with so many options? What’s the best for you, and how do you know?
Some gravitate towards dance and yoga, while others lean towards powerlifting and push-ups. What there hasn’t been much of a blend between the two, because they seem contradictory to one another.
It feels as though you have to make a choice between being able to lengthen enough to touch your head to your shins or shorten enough to pull triple your bodyweight off of the ground. The more time you dedicate yourself in either direction is at the same time sacrificing your ability to do the opposite.
Yogis feel out of place trying to juggle weights and lifters stumble over themselves reaching for their toes. But learning how to handle external loads is exactly what yoga practitioners should be adding to their regular routines. And learning how to handle your bodyweight is exactly what you should be doing as someone who regularly performs resistance training.
From doing this you get the total package of what we all want from our health and fitness routines: improved strength, reduced stress, maximized potential, and unrivaled resilience.
A challenge exists in bridging the gap between yoga and functional fitness training. Many of us have to choose between attending weekly Yoga or CrossFit classes. Some of us end up hopping around from gym to gym while flipping through our numerous key fobs.
What if your choice to receive the benefits of yoga didn’t conflict with your ability to perform at the top of your game? What if you could use the transformations you experience from a yoga practice with what you do in CrossFit? What if you could use what you gained from CrossFit to help you deepen a traditional yoga practice? This challenge is the inspiration for YogaWOD.
YogaWOD is a new program designed specifically for those who want to both lift and lengthen, with less pain and more grace. It is a 60-minute practice that involves moving people through unique combinations of yoga postures, fundamental movement patterns, soft tissue massage, challenges to stability, and other moves to enhance mobility.
All of this is for the purpose of giving you back control of your body. With improved control comes a greater ability to do what you want to do with less resistance. Resistance can come in many forms - one of the most common being pain. Pain comes from losing control and being pushed passed your edge. What YogaWOD encourages is a safe exploration of your edges so you can better uncover what’s limiting your performance and discover where it can go further.
With the name YogaWOD you can still expect there to be many elements you find in a traditional yoga practice such as flowing through postures, taking mindful breaths, and sitting for meditation. WOD indicates that it is also influenced by the CrossFit methodology where emphasis is on function, variability, and intensity.
Let’s talk first about intensity, as this may be misunderstood. Intensity in YogaWOD means the depth at which you are experiencing your body. This doesn’t mean you’ll be balancing on your hands and sweating buckets. It means you’ll stretch your body to its lengths and remain present for whatever arises. This can be as simple as holding your wrist into a slight stretch or as complex as moving from a lunge to a side plank in one breath.
Variability means no two classes are the same. Each class has a different theme and focus. For example, one practice may focus on deepening your breath while another focuses on deepening your squat.
Lastly, all of the movements are chosen to help improve function. Our ultimate goal, regardless if you want increased performance or decreased weight, is to get you moving and moving well. Movement is dependent on quality of function. Training for function then translates into better movement which ultimately makes any of your goals more easily accessible.
Whether or not you're on the fence about going to yoga or worried you might get hit with a weight walking into a CrossFit gym, you can always expect to gain confidence about your body from a YogaWOD class. This reward comes from being encouraged to be curious about it and explore where it can take you today. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Holy City CrossFit is excited to announce the introduction of its new YogaWOD program at its facility in the heart of downtown Charleston. Classes will be offered two times a week, on Tuesday evenings at 6:30pm and Thursday afternoons at 11am. In addition, a free donation-based community class will be held on the fourth Sunday of every month. For more information about classes and how to sign-up, please visit www.holycitycrossfit.com/programs/yogawod