Crossfit vs. Yoga Strong

Whenever I’m at yoga class and we end with dead man’s pose, I always wonder what the other people in the gym think about our ‘workout’.  I mean, we’re just laying there after all.

I assume that most people who don’t do yoga think it’s an easy hour of relaxing and stretching.  It can be relaxing, and you do gain flexibility, but it is NOT easy.

This past weekend I was at yoga practice and there were a bunch of first-timers.  They were all Crossfitters who decided to give it a try.  Now, I’ve never done Crossfit, but I know what it is.  And I know it’s a great workout.  And I know it gets people in great shape.  But apparently it doesn’t make you yoga strong.  Lemme splain.

The instructor knew that there were a bunch of newbies, so she took it very easy on us.  She even said she was skipping a bunch of stuff she wanted to do.  And some of her regulars remarked how she was showing mercy on us.  Normally I’m a sweaty shaking sore mess after yoga – That’s what I’m used to – but not this time.  But here’s the thing…

…The Crossfitters were dropping like flies.  They kept saying how tough it was and how they can’t do this and they weren’t even going to attempt this or that.  I was shocked.  I thought the strength they get from Crossfit would translate to being able to hold yoga poses, but I guess not.

Now, I’m not saying they’re out of shape, far from it.  But they weren’t yoga strong.  It made me feel good to realize that I kind of am.  Cool.

How bout you?  Do you do any power yoga?  Are you yoga strong?  If you don’t yoga, do you think it would be tough or easy? 

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , | 47 Comments

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47 thoughts on “Crossfit vs. Yoga Strong

  1. Hell yes yoga strong — what’s up!

  2. I LOVE this post and find it so true!!! Yoga is NOT easy and it takes lots of strength to hold poses for the amount of time that they are held in class. Power yoga is truly the ultimate cross-training.- stamina, strength, flexibility…the list goes on and on!!! Great post and I am definitely yoga strong!!! 😉 😉

    • Thanks so much Kristin!!! I’m glad this post spoke to you. I took up yoga to help keep me injury free for running, but I really enjoy it too. I always feel better afterwards (plus it’s a great workout)!

  3. Reblogged this on Stamped with a heart and commented:
    This is a fabulous post!! Check it out!!!

  4. The strongest part of Yoga does not have to do the body but with the mind

  5. I have yet to find classes locally, and it’s been hard to find a good video, but I want to try it, and think it would be wickedly challenging! Being a total yoga-novice, I’m not even sure where to start. Open to suggestions, however. 😉

    • Hmmm, I was lucky that my gym offered classes when I got started. Are there any yoga studios near by? They usually offer a week of free passes to try it out. Lately I’ve been going to Lululemon as they offer free classes on some days. So do some of the local running stores. I would suggest going to a class and telling the instructor that you’re new, that way they can help your form, offer modifications, etc. Check the library for some DVD’s, or I bet there’s lots of videos on YouTube. Good luck!!!

  6. This cracks me up. Just picturing the cross fitters whining is hysterical. And I have done some crossfit stuff (not at a box,but with a certified trainer who threw in some of their workouts). The mindset is so different. Personally, I like yoga better.

    • Yeah, it does seem kind of like a cult with all their secret language and stuff. Unfortunately, they didn’t understand that you’re supposed to be silent in yoga. Hopefully they’ll learn!

  7. That’s an awesome story! WAs it a power yoga class?
    i am definitely not yoga strong, but I’m working on it 🙂

    • Thanks! It was supposed to be a power yoga session, but she really scaled it back. I normally drip with sweat, but this time I just sort of glistened. Ha!
      Good luck on your yogadventure!

  8. I like yoga and I’m a wanna-be-yoga-strong. My foot didn’t like yoga so I had to take a little break. Yoga is hard. Cross-fit has always intrigued me, but I’ve always felt I could really injure myself doing it. That’s why I’m sticking to yoga.

    • Haha, yes. I always thought it would be embarrassing to get a yoga injury. You don’t hear that too much. I see Cross fit as being a lot of Olympic style lifting – snatches, clean and jerk, etc. I had to do that in college and I did actually injury my wrist doing it – strained it pretty good and eventually had to have minor surgery. Yikes!

  9. Yoga is awesome/tough. I would of loved to have seen that.

    • It was amusing. What’s funny is I brought the 5 year old along to watch and after he kept asking me why everyone was talking when they’re supposed to be quiet. Haha.

  10. So true. I think as with most exercise, when you try something new and use new muscles you aren’t used to working, it will be hard. I am yoga weak. I will take it up eventually!!

  11. Totally agree!! People often go into yoga with a misconception that it’s relaxing and “easy”…It’s tough!!–but oh so awesome…

  12. I’ve never done yoga before, but I ALWAYS wanted to try it!! 😀 I’m just kind of affraid because I am SO not flexible haha and I would probably break a bone or something :p

    • You should try it! I had a friend tell me she doesn’t go to yoga because she’s not flexible. I was like, “Sheesh, you’re not going to get any more flexible by not going!” Haha!

  13. I don’t do yoga but I know it’s hard. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t really know.. it’s so easy to just think something without actually knowing anything about it.
    Any exercise that works different muscles than your regular exercise is going to be hard as well, but I’m sure those Crossfitters will get the hang of it soon, if they ever go back. 🙂

  14. Haha, I love this and SOOOO true! You’re right, “yoga strong” can be a very different type of strong than the “lifting heavy things” strong. I have a friend who is a cross fit coach and also does a lot of yoga and he’s the first to admit yoga can kick his butt sometimes!

    • Ha, thank you! I can always tell a difference if I miss a couple weeks of yoga. The first class back is always much tougher! I talked a friend into going one time who thought it was going to be easy. Afterwards he took everything back he ever said/thought about yoga!

  15. I actually just tried power yoga recently – only 30 min – and it is harD!! I agree that strength doesn’t translate to yoga, it’s a totalyl different thing. My muscles are always burning, and I have to come out of a pose because I can’t hold it as long as every one else. I’m trying to keep doing it though so I can get stronger and more flexible!

    • Yay, keep it up! You’ll only get better if you stay consistent. I know what you mean about the burning. I’m usually shaking and dripping with sweat. Every once in a while I’ll pretend I need to take a drink out of my water bottle just to get a quick break!

  16. I could not love this post more if I tried. People get the wrong idea about yoga all the time. They have no idea how challenging it can be. We are totally yoga strong!

    • Thanks so much Salt! Yeah, yoga is tough, and the level of toughness depends on what each person decides to try or not try. Yeah we are yoga strong!

  17. I love this! I do yoga a few times a week and it is the best cross training for running that I’ve discovered. Recently a friend told me she “doesn’t consider yoga a workout” but I assume she has just been too chicken to try. 🙂

  18. I agree. Some of my spin class buddies finally gave yoga a try last week and they told me on the way into the class that they didn’t think it would be hard. They decided to take it easy for a night and do yoga. Boy were they wrong. The instructor doesn’t slow down for newbies in our class, but he does tell everyone to go at their own pace and not to overstretch. They are not in competition with the person next to them. The challenge is with themselves, to get better over time. By the end of class, my friends said that it was tougher than spin class. I nodded in agreement. They have been back and are getting better. Go Yoga. And yes, I am yoga strong, and still growing in my practice……..always growing. 🙂

    • Haha, nice! Normally the instructors don’t slow down, but we were outnumbered by the newbies this time. You’re exactly right, there is no competition, and you can never perfect yoga poses. That’s kind of the cool thing about it, you always keep growing!

  19. Open Up Life

    That was a great post. I teach Yoga and it’s kind of funny when some people don’t want to even try Yoga because they don’t think it’s a workout if your heart is not beating out of your chest and you can’t breath. Yoga is not really a workout, it’s a lifestyle that incorporates breathing and postures for the whole body, mind and spirit. Also, not a competition, it’s an individual experience.

    Great job Yoga warrior. Peace, love, bliss. Tammy

    • Thank you! Well said, I’ve never thought about it being a lifestyle, but you’re right. And I’ve had some sessions that were a cardio workout too!
      Thank you very much Yoga Warrior Three!

  20. I am a HUGE power yoga fan. And I think there is a lack of understanding “out there” about power yoga vs. more traditional, relaxing styles of yoga. No, they are not all the same. 🙂

    • Very true! I like the yoga where I’m shaking and struggling. But sometimes a nice restorative, stretching session is nice.

  21. I have just started yoga and think the same thing while doing dead man’s (or corpse) pose. I giggle a little inside.

    But agreed- yoga is HARD and there are definitely different kinds of fit or strength!

    • What they don’t realize is that is the most important/hardest pose in yoga. It takes a lot of strength to be able to completely clear your head and just be in the moment. It’s hard not to think about brunch that’s coming after!

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