- Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. Flexibility and suppleness that yoga develops can bring your CrossFit training to the next level: overhead squats, back squats, deep ring dips, squat clean, and other movements can benefit hugely from yoga practice. Ankle mobility, which is so underestimated but so essential for the majority of the movements, improves with specific yoga postures.
- Improves range of motion: During a yoga session, the joints are taken through their full range of motion, squeezing and soaking areas of cartilage not often used and bringing fresh nutrients, oxygen and blood to the area, which helps to prevent conditions like arthritis and chronic pain.
- Speeds up muscle recovery: Practicing yoga will improve muscle tightness and soreness that you can experience after a CrossFit workout. Yoga helps to loosen you up after a training session, speeds up recovery, and reduces soreness.
- Breathing (pranayama) is an integral part of yoga and is hugely beneficial for CrossFitters in many ways. Yoga is a practice linked entirely to the breath. Establishing a full even rhythmic breath is the first tenant of Yoga. This translates to all of the elements of CrossFit, from Olympic lifting to conditioning, and will really improve your performance if you can master balanced breathing. It will also translate to a more peaceful mind.
The verdict: Coupling of yoga and CrossFit can create a more balanced athlete.