Oftentimes people don’t do something because the task seems too daunting. “I can’t do this or that because I don’t have the time.” I hear this often in regards to yoga but the truth is you don’t need hours and hours — you just need a few minutes every day. I find after I work out, spending a few minutes on some yoga postures not only helps me unwind and chill out but it helps my recovery time and keeps me injury free.
Here are a few tips that can help you get started.
Using Yoga for Recovery Post-WOD
1. Create a Routine
Some people hop on the assault bike, some immediately reach for that protein shake, others spend 10 minutes doing the bacon sizzle on the floor. Your goal is to finish the workout, cheer on your friends and then find some space to hit a few postures.
2. Find 5 Postures You Love
I previously wrote about my favorite yoga poses. Whether you use those or find new ones you love, hit those postures every time and you’ll quickly notice progress. My recommendation is to set your stopwatch for two minutes per posture. That way you can chill out but still chat with your buddies and brag about your WOD time.
It sounds silly — of course you should relax. It’s yoga. But let’s be real: You are a CrossFitter. You push everything you do. Yoga should be the one aspect of fitness where you don’t keep score. Be passive. Let your body just ease into postures, don’t worry what your friends are doing or what they look like. Just do you and long-term, your body will be grateful.
4. Find a Yoga Friend
We all do better with accountability. Is there someone you work out with regularly or someone that’s always in that 5:00 class you take? Most likely they need to recover too. Have them join you and you’ll both not only be more likely to hit your new yoga practice but you’ll be helping your bodies recover.
5. Carve out Sacred Space
Now this could be at the box or at home. Find a place that brings you comfort and also ability to help with postures. Whether it’s having a band accessible for some shoulder work or a comfy floor for your feet, the right space helps prepare you for success.
6. Play Some Music
It’s not often we sit for 10 minutes and ease our minds. Music is a great escape, whether it’s some 80s rock that reminds you of childhood (I’m old) or some Enya to set the yoga mood. Turn the volume up and let your mind go free for just a few moments.
As with anything in life, these are just some tips, some tools you can use to get started in your yoga and recovery protocol. But ultimately, you need to make it work for you and the biggest piece of advice we can give is to start! Even if just a two minute forward fold after “Fran,” Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your flexibility.