Bringing Balance into your High-Energy Routine

Posted on August 9, 2013 by Trace


CROSSFIT and yoga appear to be polar opposites. One is a firestorm of random, gut- busting movements that can reduce a participant to a teary, sweaty mess. The other is an elegant discipline which requires strength but quietens the mind while lengthening muscles. Beneath the surface, crossfit and yoga are complementary practices that can prepare the body and mind to cope with any challenge.

Crossfit can provide the strength foundation to complete some of yoga’s more complex moves while yoga helps unravel the kinks hammered into your body by the high- intensity fitness craze. ‘‘It’s all about balance,’’ said dual Olympian Sally Robbins who is now a crossfit trainer and yoga teacher/instructor at Newstead.Having retired from elite rowing and cycling, Robbins started a personal training business and recognised the two activities could, and should, be friends.

‘‘You see people training incredibly hard and think they can maintain that without stretching or calming their mind,’’ she said. ‘‘You’ve got to work your heart to increase your fitness and crossfit’s great because it develops strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Yoga balances it all out. For me, to achieve the perfect balance you need to lengthen muscles and be flexible to move well.  There are some obvious and subtle benefits to combining this odd couple.”

Yoga’s practised breathing can be useful when fatigue and stress kicks in during crossfit sessions, or any other sport for that matter.
‘‘If you want to go harder for longer you need to learn to breathe properly,’’ Robbins said.
‘‘A lot of the time when people are lifting weights they’re not breathing properly. You can use your breathing to change your physiological state, and your heart-rate lowers. When you achieve that state of effortlessness you can go for longer. Look at middle and long distance runners. They’re never really tight and wound up, it’s always fluent.’’

Less obvious are the psychological and spiritual effects. Yoga trains the mind to smooth out the jagged mental edges carved by intense exercise. And those who practise the ancient discipline rave about the positive energy it invites.

‘‘We do postures to get into a meditative state, where the mind is still, when you have that peace, that’s when everything starts to flow. As soon as your mind’s in the right place, everything else follows. If you’re in a heightened state of anxiety, things can go wrong.’’ Robbins said.

To find out more about Sally Robbins and Teneriffe Yoga, timetable & website here

Story via The Sunday Mail – Weekend Warrior 26th May 2013 – Photo: Mark Calleja

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