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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 10-30-2008, 07:10 AM   #21
Alexander Kornishev
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Re: Yoga

Almost there with front lever, one leg is straight, second is almost straight... Thanks Steven! Usual practice in Iyengar yoga classes is first they go through intro level (I think it is 4-6 weeks long). Most people are transferred to level one even before they complete intro. You might find intro and level one classes harder than more advanced levels because they teach mostly standing poses. Usually level two are more concentrated on forward bends and level three and four on back bends. How much attention you get of course depends on number of people in the class, but be sure they will not leave you alone if you are doing something really wrong (I remember that sometimes I wished that the teacher would just go away, but he would stay there and repeat same thing over and over again until I would finally give up and make an effort). I am sure you will find it very different from Bikram, it is still relaxing but very active, you also might end up to be the only male in the class
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:09 AM   #22
Jerry Mobbs
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Re: Yoga

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
I, myself am a little more interested in the Scott Sonnon moving yoga stuff and I have studied a cadre of yoga books and ganked a lot of the ones I find useful and enjoying for myself.
I second Scott Sonnon's Prasara yoga.

Its all about movement rather than the poses themselves.

In CF terms, I'd see it as a bit like learning a basic floor routine in gymnastics with all the attendant accuracy, co-ordination etc. etc. benefits.

He also has specific moves to help specific parts of the body, and I found my hip mobility increased enourmously by doing some basic Prasara routine called 'flock of pigeons'.

Well worth the cost of the DVD.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:51 AM   #23
Greg Keeter
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Re: Yoga

Check out Astanga yoga too. It will get you sweating without the heat used in Bikram and its usually less costly. Its not so much about holding poses as it is moving from one pose to another hold a few seconds and then on to the next. It can be very challenging stuff! Also as already stated the instructor makes a huge difference! Find someone that lives and breaths it!

Greg
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:25 AM   #24
Alexander Kornishev
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Re: Yoga

Off topic...
I am not trying to offend anyone, I just would like to hear your opinion. I was always wondering what is the point of doing dynamic yoga like Astanga or Scott Sonnon, ... etc. It looks beautiful if done by the master, but what people are trying to achieve? When holding a pose still the goal is to make it effortless. It takes a lot of practice but even with long experience it takes some time every time you are holding the pose to get control of your breathing, relax, stretch out, and start feeling and controlling all big and small muscles, become calm and bring in maximum body awareness. Some poses require few minutes of holding just to get to that point, and although they might look like they require a lot of effort (some hand stand balancing variations for ex.) a high level practitioner will stay very relaxed.
Dynamic yoga looks like a real workout, the effect is completely different and it might still be benificial for joints and be a good physical activity, but it is so far from any of yoga goals (calm mind, breathing control, max body awareness). Moving makes you concentrate on very different areas.
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Last edited by Alexander Kornishev : 10-31-2008 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:29 AM   #25
Jerry Mobbs
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Re: Yoga

alex

Without wishing to get into the 'great yoga wars', I look for the yoga that's going to help make me more 'crossfit'.

And that has to be driven by which one of the 10 skills you wish to improve. It's a personal choice. I find all types of yoga improve my crossfit, I just enjoy the moving yoga more.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:46 AM   #26
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Yoga

I think the dynamic yoga correlates to his Russian Martial Art movement and there it is, bingo.
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:04 AM   #27
Amy Larson
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Re: Yoga

I've done a lot of Bryan Kest DVDs over the years and think they are great. He does an Ashtanga-style yoga, but really emphasizes the breathing, and not worrying about getting too deep in the pose. Breathing correctly makes yoga very demanding on the cardiovascular system, not to mention the flexibility and strength benenfits.

He bashes weight machines that make your biceps bigger. Wonder how he'd feel about muscle-ups?
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:05 AM   #28
Jeff Yan
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not everyone loves yoga

Olympic Weightlifting and Yoga (wfs)
from the Performance Menu message boards
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:13 PM   #29
Keith Wittenstein
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Re: Yoga

Thanks Michael for the shout out!

Yeah I'm a yoga instructor and I think there is a lot of value in yoga despite what the Greg Everett's of the world say. It depends on what you want. No, yoga is not going to get you in as good shape as doing Crossfit or Oly Lifting. However, there are benefits from doing yoga that go beyond what we work on in Crossfit.

Body control and awareness are big factors. I find it much easier to train some of my yoga students when I get them to my Crossfit classes because they have better overall body awareness than the average people walking in off the street. They can usually arch or round their backs on command and are more precise when setting their foot positions among various other details that many other people gloss over.

Breath control is important as well. There is an entire lexicon of breathing exercises from the yoga tradition referred to as Pranayama. Pranayama techniques include slow breathing, fast breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, alternate nostril breathing, breath retention techniques and so forth. Having control over your breath is valuable in learning how to do a valsalva manuever but also in learning how to calm or excite yourself and prepare for a PR lift.

Visualization techniques are a big part of teaching yoga. Yoga teachers often guide people into poses and meditations with visualization techniques. Countless studies have been done with champion athletes that use visualization techniques to succeed at their sport. Taking some yoga classes to work on your visualization skills is vital to success IMHO. You don't have to visual your chakras aligning, you can spend your time in yoga class visualizing how being more flexible will help your front squat and therefore your Fran time.

The thing that gets me upset is that people just say yoga=stretching and dismiss it. Perhaps some yoga classes are just stretching classes, but IMHO the real value is in these other aspects that I brought up. This debate comes up so often that I'm going to have to write an article about it....
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:22 PM   #30
Alexander Kornishev
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Re: Yoga

Jerry, I am looking for a productive discussion, definitely not the war...
Something should be made clear about yoga practice. Some will disagree, but only because they didn't really have a chance to compare. There is no way in the world someone can buy a DVD/book and perform poses correctly, absolutely no way. Sorry to say that, but any DVD/book is just another way to make money, nothing more. The fact that one can imitate same looks by putting limbs in the same position even trying to apply general instruction from the source doesn't mean that they are performing it correctly or even worse that they are not messing some of their joints. Plenty of very personal corrections have to applied to make any pose right. Many instructors are in reality are just a bit more advanced students themselves and trying to learn from them is like when a blind person leading another blind. In my studio half of students were teaching yoga in their own studios, but seeing their level of knowledge and comparing it to our teacher's there is no way I would want to learn yoga from any of them. Even worse, some good looking people are naturally more flexible than others, the fact that they can imitate some advanced pose doesn't even mean that they are doing yoga or can teach yoga. And plenty of those people released DVDs and books trying to teach others. Yoga industry is full of gimmicks, plenty of "know it all" people are trying to sell their products. I went from books to a teacher and that was the best thing I could have done for my practice. The difference is huge. I was very lucky to find my teacher. Nothing can replace a good personal guidance. Even a very good book can do some damage, if it contradicts what you do in the class with your teacher, your teacher always knows you better than any book.
When someone says that some of the yoga poses messing up their back, puts too much stress on..., etc... it only means that they are not performed correctly. There is no stress on any joint in any of yoga poses... only IF done properly. And when a person is trying to do it on his/her own it is a big IF.
So someone watched a DVD, tried to follow it, eventually messed up his joints trying to get into more advanced zone. This person then trying to say to others that yoga and CF together is a NO. That is not yoga and CF are incompatible, it is same thing as with Crossfit itself, general brainwashing is to blame for this failure. I doesn't matter what style you choose, please do yourself a favor and go to the studio and choose a good one if you can.
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Last edited by Alexander Kornishev : 10-31-2008 at 12:43 PM.
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