Take your Crossfit workout to the next level by incorporating this 10 minute Yoga WOD into your weekly routine! If you have ever done CrossFit, you know that it’s a kick-butt workout. It will challenge your body and your mind on many levels, always pushing you to your personal best. If you’re already a CrossFitter, you know the value of having a community that pushes your limits, and a place to come to that feels like a fitness home for your exercise life—your CrossFit Box. Well, you can have that same experience in a yoga studio, with a focus on the mind-body-spirit connection. If you’ve been considering adding yoga to your repertoire, especially as a way to avoid or come back from injury, this Yoga WOD can help you get your yogitoe in the door. Yoga can seem like an odd choice for hardcore CrossFitters, but it is precisely the softness of yoga that can balance out the hard-driving nature of the WOD. Take the philosophy of YogiWod creator Debbie Steingesser, whose website, YogiWOD.com, states that her mission is “to guide individuals toward a deeper sense of strength, balance and personal power through yoga and movement.” You can find some excellent videos targeted at correcting imbalances from CrossFit on YouTube channel, YogiWOD. Trainer and yoga instructor Jen Hayes appreciates CrossFitters who do yoga. She says, “Yoga brings about a presence and awareness that will help the CrossFitter focus under the stress of an intense workout. It also allows the athlete to slow down and focus on alignment, mobility, and stability for a safe workout.” Here is a 10-minute intro-to-flow-yoga workout that will improve balance and will complement the high intensity work done in CrossFit. This workout includes a minute of meditation, and a minute of savasana, the fully collapsed pose some take after they compete their WOD, only more ritualized. These ‘softer exercises’ are an important part of yoga, and the whole thing only takes 10 minutes, so let yourself experiment with them to see what their benefit might be for you. For this workout, you will need a yoga mat and a countdown timer. iPhone and Android users can preprogram the GymbossAPP so that you don’t need to reset it for each new segment, and can just let the workout run. Either way, keep the timer close to your yoga mat as you do your yoga. This will take you 10 minutes, once you learn the basic poses. This is the basic warmup unit for any power yoga class—in Sanskrit, this workout is called Surya Namaskar, which means Salutation to the Sun. Conscious breathing is important in yoga, so pay attention to your inhale and exhale as you do each pose. It may feel complicated at first, but as you know from heavy lifting, your breath can help you achieve better results, so Yoga is a good place to increase your breath awareness. You will notice cues of when to breathe in these poses: just do your best to follow them. Let’s begin! Set your countdown timer for 8 minutes and start it. Mountain Pose Basic standing, yoga-style. Stand up straight, at the front of the short end of your yoga mat. Your feet are together at the big toes, with your heels slightly apart. Arms are by your sides, palms facing in, fingers pointed down. Angle your chest up, with your spine long, crown of the head reaching up toward the sky. Breathe deeply, in and out. On an inhale, reach the arms up overhead, looking up at your thumbs, as your palms come together into a gentle soundless clap over your head. Forward Fold Dive forward and fold over your straightened legs. Inhale, and look up while keeping your hands on the floor, bending your knees if you need to. Exhale and fold over your straightened legs again. Chatauranga (Carla Olla of Love Yoga Center in Naples FL calls it “the lower part of a boy push-up.”) Inhale, plant your hands at the top of the short end of your mat, and step or jump your feet back to bring your body to a plank pose, with your hands in the same position as the “lower part of a full pushup.” Upward-Facing Dog Inhale, push into your hands and arch your chest forward and up between your hands, while pressing on the backs of your feet, so that your thighs are off the ground, and you are balancing the weight of your torso on your two hands. Downward-Facing Dog Press your weight into your hands, curl your toes under and lift your seat into the air, into an inverted V position. Once you are up, distribute your weight equally between your hands and feet. This is the signature pose of Surya Namaskaa, the one you will be doing most often in any power class, and a good resting pose if the flow, or vinyasa, gets to be too much. You can take up to 5 breaths here inhaling and exhaling slowly. At the end of an exhale, inhale deeply as you step, or jump your feet forward, between your hands again and look up, lengthening your back and straightening your arms. Then exhale and go back to Pose Forward fold Exhale. Inhale, raise the arms up overhead, and come to a standing position, and then exhale, bringing them back to a prayer position, with the palms touching, in front of your heart. Your first Surya Namaskar is complete. Continue to cycle through the poses, as if it is a dance, until your 8 minute timer goes off and then click forward to the meditation. 1 minute meditation Reset the timer to go off in one minute as you find a comfortable seated position, either tailor’s pose or sit on your heels. Put your hand on your heart and close your eyes, to focus on your breathing. In and out. You can say to yourself on the inhale “Alllll” and on the exhale, “is WELL.” Allow your mind to get still. 1 minute Savasana When the timer goes off, set it again for 1 minute, and lie on your back on the yoga mat. Allow yourself to be fully at rest. This pose is called Corpse Pose, and it is a moment where you don’t have to do anything at all. For some, this can be the most difficult pose of all, but if you actually try it, you might be surprised at how good it feels to be given permission to just do nothing. When that timer goes off, stop it, roll over to your right side, and come back up to sit. Congratulate yourself for doing yoga, and notice if you feel any relief from stressful thoughts, or if you feel a more positive outlook in general. This can be done up to 6 days a week, for a balancing of body, mind and spirit.