Yoga – Starts this week in the city centre location. Here is Claire's Bio!!

 In Blog, WOD

From a very young age I have always had the urge to explore the possibilities of the physical realm. I have a strong background in dance, ranging from contemporary, ballet and Irish to tap, hip-hop and break-dancing! Always feeling more comfortable upside down, I was naturally drawn to gymnastics and competed as an Irish gymnast for over 11 years which lead me to my first coaching experience as I got older. In college I taught break dancing to adults and teenagers and also was an apprentice aerobics instructor. It wasn’t until I had to find a way to heal myself from a break dancing injury that I really got an insight into the powerful healing properties of yoga.

Since then, with a natural curiosity, I explored many styles of yoga, which finally led to the discovery of Ashtanga yoga. For the last 4 years I have been practicing in the traditional way doing morning mysore practice 6days a week and have been lucky enough to train all over the world with world renowned teachers such as Kino McGreggor, David Swenson, Peter Sanson, Sharath Jois to name a few. I took time out and travelled to India in 2010 to train in Rishikesh Yog Peeth ashram and was awarded a Yoga Alliance certification to teach yoga and meditation.

Since then I have been spreading the joy of the practice and teaching in studios and gyms all over Dublin, helping others find that magic space between an inhale and an exhale. Always in search of the ultimate balance in fitness I joined Crossfit Dublin in January. Wanting to add more strength training to my routine to create a better balance between flexibility and strength , Crossfit was just what I needed. Balance is key to overall fitness, too much strength and not enough stretching will results in imbalances and injury eventually and equally too much flexibility and not enough strength will do the same.

Yoga is like a service for your body, smoothening out any tension and tightness and working on finer muscle groups to make you move more efficiently.Through Yoga, CrossFitters can grow stronger physically and mentally, ultimately leading to better performance results, speedier recovery and safer movements.

The benefits of coupling Yoga with CrossFit include:

Flexibility: This seems to be a given, but notice how much Yoga movements reflect the mobility movements you are more than likely already doing pre and/or post WOD. These exercises will help to stretch out your muscular system and become more flexible.

Respiration & Breath Awareness: Yoga, in particular Ashtanga yoga, really emphasizes movement with the breath. Every moment is done on an inhale and an exhale, learning how to harness the energy and power the breath can give you and use in things like lifting will really make a huge difference to how much you can push and how much better it will feel. That bottomed out feeling when you need to dig deep to perform a heavy lift can all be changed in an instant by the breath, breathing correctly also helps prevent injury.

Balance: Balance is important when it comes to crossfit, certain yoga postures work on developing the finer muscles in the lower legs to improve your balance. No one likes to feel wobbly in a heavy Clean and Jerk!

Body Awareness: Yoga gives you a heightened sense of body awareness. Knowing where your body is in space and how it’s oriented is not only good for your day to day health and well-being, but it also becomes extremely important in Olympic level lifts. When your coach tells you to “Stick your butt out when you squat!” or “Keep your shins vertical!” knowing how that feels and being aware of that will be critical to actually getting in the right position to perform the lift. Body awareness matters.

Peace of Mind: Yoga is great for the body and clearing for the mind. For a moment, just contrast this to the feeling you get at the end of a tough WOD and you get the idea that coupling yoga with CrossFit is an attempt at balance. During a WOD the mind spins, thinking of numbers, times, quickness (beating the person next to you!)….all thoughts that distract from your performance. With a clear mind, the body can flow more smoothly, even in the toughest WOD.

Agility: Yoga helps with speed and agility by toning and stretching the ligaments and tendons making them work more efficiently and respond better to sudden changes of direction and pace.

Strength:  Yoga isn’t going to up your back squat PR by 50lbs, but it will help you develop strength and muscle endurance. Some of the positions that you hold are quite challenging and will leave you sore the next day just like a good WOD.

Everyone who shows up to class has their own unique combination of desires, needs, hopes, fears, curiosities and intentions. CrossFitters are no different.

When a CrossFitter approaches yoga with an open heart and mind, they allow themselves to reap the physical benefits of yoga, as well as the hidden mental and spiritual benefits of yoga. Yoga is just plain good medicine for the CrossFit athlete, and you might even find it good for the soul.

I will be teaching yoga in Crossfit Dublin City in the new lime st studios which is separate to the main box, classes will be starting this week. On Thursday at 6.30pm and Saturday at 10.30am. We will start with times and days and see what the intake is like and with that we will add more class and different times. We will be starting with 5euro drop in classes until we come up with a more fixed package with classes etc.

So come get it!


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