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yoga at crossfit London - CrossFit London

The Sun Salutation – How is it going to benefit your training?

If you’ve done yoga before, you will have practiced it, and if you haven’t, you may well have heard of it – the sun salutation, or surya namaskar, by its Sanskrit name. The sun salutation is a foundational sequence of roughly a dozen asanas (yoga postures), performed in the same order and usually at the beginning of a yoga practice. There are different variations, e.g. the classical sun salutation, surya namaskar A & B – you’ll be coming across them all in my classes. Now, let’s look at why you should integrate them into your programme to complement your training at the gym.

  1. No equipment needed

The sun salutation is a type of bodyweight exercise and you can do it anywhere. I like to take my practice outside whenever possible, making the most of London’s many green spaces. You’ll have the choreography down in no time, meaning you’ll bust out those downward facing dogs and baby cobras without even thinking about what comes when before you know it.

Downward-facing dog

Downward-facing Dog

  1. It makes for a great warm-up, cool-down or a full-on workout in its own right

It all depends on how you pace it, and how many rounds you complete. In vinyasa flow yoga, the style in which I teach, it’s the rhythm of your breath that leads you from one posture to the next, meaning you – or on occasion I, if you practice with me in class – set the pace. It’s a great way to warm up before a workout, and to bring that heart rate down when you’re hanging out of your arse after a savage metcon.

  1. It mobilises the spine

The practice of yoga asana aims to move the spine in all directions by means of forward folds, backbends and twists. The sun salutation incorporates a number of poses that repeatedly flex and extend the spine, particularly the lumbar. This promotes spinal disc health as the biochemical process controlling disc hydration is stimulated through on and off pressure. The spinal discs already have very poor blood supply – now add to that gravity from walking upright, general lack of movement due to a sedentary lifestyle for many of us, natural degeneration through ageing, as well as compression under load from weightlifting and you have…less than ideal conditions for your discs to stay happy and healthy!

Bhujangasana - Cobra

Bhujangasana – Cobra

  1. It makes for happy hammies

Struggling to keep a neutral spine when deadlifting? Tight hamstrings are a common plight, and not only among athletes. There’s three of these muscles – they originate at the sitting bone, and the back of the femur (that’s your thigh bone) respectively. Tightness in this area may cause the pelvis to tuck under, and therefore compromise the integrity of the spine in CrossFit movements such as the deadlift. As with everything, consistency is key, and I guarantee you that you will be able to touch your toes no matter how impossible that may seem at this point in time – incidentally it’s one of the most frequent reasons I hear people give for not coming to class. No more excuses now, get yourself on the mat or the gym floor and start stretching!

Uttanasana - Forward fold

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Fold

  1. It helps you get to that next ninja level

The sun salutation engages approximately 140 muscles in the body, using nothing but your own bodyweight. How’s that for a well-rounded workout? Mindful movement helps cultivate proprioception, i.e. the awareness of whereabouts in space your various body parts are, and controlling that – aka ninja skills. If you’re struggling with certain movements such as the push-up, try a chaturanga dandasana variation I’ll be teaching you, whereby you’ll learn how to gradually lower yourself down towards the ground from plank, eventually hovering a couple inches above the floor.
I’m running a weekly yoga class on Tuesday mornings, 7-8am at Gales Gardens, starting Tuesday Oct 10th. Suitable for all levels, complete beginners most welcome! Click here to book in, and feel free to email me at christine[at]crossfitlondonuk.com if you have any questions.
Click here if you missed last week’s post on who I am, and what you can expect from my classes.
 

New weekly Yoga for Crossfitters class

Hey team,
Your Crossfit coaches help you get swole, now it’s time to get flexy! Come and join me on the mat for an hour on Tuesday mornings at 7am, starting Oct 10th. I’m stoked to meet you guys & gals!
Who am I?
I was brought up in Bavaria in the Southeast of Germany and have been living in the Big Smoke for the past 12 years. When I’m not working in my job as a quality manager in construction, I try and spend as much time outside as possible. Hiking, riding my bike, my skateboard, climbing, running the occasional obstacle course or endurance race – I’ll take anything over sitting on my arse in front of the telly! Crossfit helps me get into shape for my endeavours, while a regular yoga practice helps me stay supple…and keep a level head!
Christine_MvL
How did I get into CF?
I was looking for a type of training to help me get stronger and level out a few board sports-induced strength imbalances. So initially I started doing CF to help my skateboarding. Needless to say, I’ve never looked back and am now increasingly gravitating towards putting that fitness to good use outside of the gym and testing out that general physical preparedness!
Christine_KnK
Random fact?
In January I rowed the full marathon distance of 42.195m on an erg unbroken in 3:30:08, for no reason other than that I wanted to, after racking up nearly 240.000m prior. Hit me up at christine[at]crossfitlondonuk.com for tips on distance rowing or if you’re keen to find out more on how to prepare for, and get through this kinda thing.
Christine_Row
Why yoga?
Um, why not?! I could write a novel on the many physical and mental benefits and why I think everyone should be doing it!
Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts on how a regular yoga practice will positively impact on your performance at the gym. Meanwhile, you can also head over to my website at www.yogishapes.com to find out more about me and my philosophy.
Falka_Plank
I’m just not down with this new age hippy shiz…and how do you even ‘radiate from the heart space’?!
Oh good, cos neither am I! My classes are primarily built around specific muscle groups with a strong emphasis on alignment and anatomy. I do believe in mindfulness as an extremely powerful tool to improve performance, especially if you’re competing or generally enjoy pushing your limits. The word yoga means to yoke, or to unite, and through the practice of asana, the physical postures, as well as pranayama, a variety of breathing techniques, we aim to establish, and strengthen that mind-body connection. However you won’t find any flowery language, chanting or incense in my classes. What can you expect then?
A friendly space where every body is welcome – my yoga classes are suitable for all levels, so don’t worry about not being flexible enough! Just as in Crossfit, modifications are available for the postures and I will offer hands-on adjustments to help you get the most out of your practice. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
bhujapidasana
Favourite workout?
Small:
3 RFT – 1k row, 50 burpees, 50 box jumps @ 24″, 800m run
Favourite dessert?
Banoffee pie!!!
My weekly class will run at Gales Gardens on Tuesday mornings from 7-8am, starting Oct 10th. Book in here to get your stretch on!
Christine_Leake_St