Archive for the ‘Yoga + CrossFit’ Category

Bless those who challenge us to grow, to stretch, to move beyond the knowable,

.. to come back home to our essential nature.

Bless those who challenge us, for they remind us of the doors we have closed

and doors we have yet to open.

-Navaho prayer


Thursday, September 15, 2011 8:00 am

By Jen Wielgus

Calkins Media, Inc.


Did you happen to flip over to ESPN2 at all last night? Do you know what you were watching?

Yes, it was the most impressive display of fitness and skill known to humankind.

It was the CrossFit Games. Well, actually a replay of the CrossFit Games, which happened at the end of July out in Carson, Calif. Apparently, despite the existence of CrossFit “boxes” everywhere you turn, CrossFit hasn’t blown up enough that it warrants a live broadcast on a normal cable channel. But this is a start!

ESPN2 is showing portions of the Games every Wednesday night for the next three weeks.

I got home from my own CrossFit class just in time to watch last night’s show, and let me tell you, it did not help ease me into dreamland. On the contrary, it got my blood pumping even harder.

I can’t remember getting so geeked up about a televised sporting event since, oh, Super Bowl XLI (and Rex Grossman was the Bears QB, so I couldn’t get that excited.) I even loved the CrossFit-themed commercials that aired during the ESPN2 broadcast; they were almost as inspiring as the actual Games action.

The first workout — CrossFit competitions require that you complete an assigned workout for time, or for total reps or rounds — involved a swim in the open ocean, running on soft sand, pull-ups, pushups, squats and more running on soft sand. The second workout involved rope climbs and clean-and-jerks with really heavy barbells.

I got especially excited about the second workout, because I had just made it up the rope for the first time in Wednesday’s class. I picked up a few much-needed pointers for getting down the rope from the Games competitors.

People were asking me on Twitter if what they were seeing on TV was what I do three, four times a week and write and tweet about incessantly. Answer: Yes and no. I do CrossFit, which is adaptable to any age group or fitness level, but I am not a real-life superhero like Chris Spealler or Iceland Annie (pictured).

But the cool thing about CrossFit is that pushing yourself through a workout makes you feel like a superhero. The more you do it, the stronger you get, and that feeling intensifies. There are few other (legal, healthy) pursuits in life that give you that kind of buzz.

Some random viewer tweeted last night that “CrossFit affiliates better turn on their answering machines, because they’re going to get lots of calls” after the first airing of the Games. My class this morning had three people in it, so I’m not sure the effect was that dramatic.

But now that I’ve written this blog, y’all will come flocking, right?


Posted: September 14, 2011 in Yoga + CrossFit

Coach Keefa’s Birthday WOD.

I learned that a B-Day WOD is akin to a Benchmark – one of the ‘Girls’ or “Heroes’.

Whatever the case, it was certainly the most challenging WOD I have ever done – for the number of events, for the number of lifts, for the longest continuous run, and absolutely for the length of time.

First, I started with the 8am YogaWOD.  This regular Tuesday morning class is a prep for the day’s WOD .. so I had Yoga poses ready to prepare us for the WOD.

Then, the 9am WOD’s Warm Up

3 min Jump Rope

2 MTM Bear Crawls

25 Squats

25 PVC Pass Thrus


And Keefa’s Big Birthday WOD

4 Rounds for Time

13 Ring Dips

13 Jumping Air Squats

13 Pull Ups
13 SDHP (95/65)
13 Hang Power Cleans (95/65)
9, 50 meter Sprints
13 Bar Facing Burpees
13 Bear Complex (95/65)
Finish with an 800 meter Run


It had started out as a rough day, a 10 year mark for me .. but when I saw the WOD I set my mind in motion: That I would do all 4 Rounds.  Coach Keefa and I decided on 55# for weight, so I was only 10# under Rx.

Early on, Coach Keefa commented that a Birthday WOD was a day to be thankful; an opportunity to be alive and strong.   Those words settled deep in my heart; so I decided at that moment that this would be an opportunity for humility, because I was humbled by the strength I have gained.  I am truly humbled to be healthy and alive and just physically able and mentally stable enough to participate in this celebration of life.

I kept track of the Rounds by making chalk marks for every Bear Complex.  Of everything I did, I knew – this, not being a continuous lift – would be the one I would loose track counting.  So it was, that once I had 13 tally marks on the floor, I knew I had completed one Round.

Round One started well.  It was during Round Two that I started to feel uncomfortable.  My middle back was cramping, my hips were hurting, and the top of my thighs were burning from where the bar rested in the Hang Power Cleans.

Of all the exercises, the Bar Facing Burpees were my fav.  Granted, I enjoyed the Pull-Ups, but would have enjoyed them more without that purple band.  So it was the Burpees that I really liked .. focusing on jumping the feet between the hands, so that the next jump was over the bar.  Basically, the challenge of making it as smooth a transition from one side of the bar to the other.

I took plenty of time to rest on the Yoga Ball .. rolling my middle back, resting my lower back, the two areas that were communicating to me the loudest.  And I listened .. because this WOD was never about time but about technique and my personal will to continue with life.

Then, once that last Bear Complex was completed, I dropped the bar and hit the door .. running for 800 meters.  So it was that during the first 400 meters I thought of my son Jordan, and I ran for both of us.  And so it was that during that last leg .. I released into a full sprint.  It felt great to finish .. far better than ‘good’!

In all, Keefa’s Big Birthday WOD was a challenge of not just how far I have come since I started CrossFit over 4 months ago, but who I am at the core.  You see, when Im tired and hot and agitated and sore and uncomfortable and even in pain, I know I can go on.  When Im pushed and stretched beyond even being able to think anything other than ‘just breathe’, I know I can go on.  Then afterwards .. when I’m smiling and laughing and feeling good, so that I like the person I am, then I know I am truly blessed to know my Self that well.

In that yesterday marked 10 years since my son passed away .. I know that what I felt was far more than physical, but spiritual.  Yes .. I am truly blessed.


Yogini Valarie

Sorry about not posting in the last week, I’ve been very busy.

My YogaWOD was a huge success!

Locally, had the Candler Park CrossFitters come out, and some folk from CrossFit No Excuses.  Further afield, some hardcore folk drove down from Virginia just to attend my YogaWOD.  Likewise, some of my Yoga students took up the challenge.

It was a very good day!

I wont bore my readers with all the WODs Ive been doing (lol .. unless asked too).  Suffice it to say that I havent missed a day since my last entry.

Now that the most challenging part of YogaWOD is out of the way, Im hoping to take that show on the road to other CrossFit locations.  If interested .. do let me know!  Id love to come to your box and share the value of ROM and DROM – and how it benefits strength and endurance.

Meanwhile, here is my inspiration of the day .. Annie Thorisdottir .. Fittest Woman on Earth!  And .. Thor’s Daughter in Workout 4 ..






Wow!  Twenty days of CrossFit!  Lol .. remember when I was worried about doing a double day!?  😀

Im really diggn’ the morning Warm Up, thought still adding my own YogaWOD into the mix.  At first I was thinking more like a Yoga routine todo with the Warm Up, but now I base it on what the WOD is.  This way, its more routine specific; but then, Ive gone so far as to create some awesome YogaWODs!

Warm Up

100 Jumping Jacks

40 High Kicks

10 Squats

10 Hip Extensions

~ ~ ~


1000 meter Row

25 Box Jumps, 24″

50 Wall Balls, 20/14#

25 GHD Sit Ups

800 meter Run

I like the Cardio / Conditioning / Cardio combo because its similar to what I do when trail running.  When I hit the trail, I will jog to warm up for the first 2 miles, do some Yoga, run about another 2 miles, stop, do more Yoga, and the like.  And this is always with Yoga Running ™ I also like to play .. climb trees, jump from rock to rock, forge streams, charge hills, and the like.

Today was challenging, but I like that .. a good challenge.  I like looking at the white board and going, “No way!”, then completing the challenge and having that rush of, “Yeah!  I did it!”

My scaling today was using the 12″ box, and the 12# Med Ball.  All total: 18 minutes and 12 seconds.

I like the Medicine Ball throw and squat combination.  Really like that upper and lower body intensity.  Plus, Ive been using that 12# Med Ball since I started .. I think its time to move it up.

I am pleased to announce a date for our long awaited workshop:

YogaWOD – Yoga for CrossFit and Power Athletes

This is not your mother’s tofu Yoga, but Real Yoga for Athletes.  YogaWOD™ will help improve your foundation and define the key biomechanics that assist and maintain that foundation.  YogaWOD will improve joint range of motion and muscle flexibility for increased strength, smoother lifting, overall coordination, and fluidity of movement, while cultivating patience, honoring the hint of pain, stimulating detoxification, and promoting ready recovery.

YogaWOD focuses on ancient biomechanic warrior techniques and efficiency of movement that fully immerses the athlete into any activity.  Incorporated into your CrossFit routine, it will:

Normalize Endocrine function,

Increase Musculoskeletal Flexibility and Joint Range,

Improve Dexterity,

Heighten Energy levels,

Decrease Pain,

Hone Balance,

Focus Motivation and Determination, and

Harness the Body, Mind and Breath to achieve your goal.

YogaWOD also has psychological effects, such as improved mood, and reduction of post workout depression (due to elevated heartrate and rapid breathing); it is a highly effective and time tested method of getting out of the Funk and into the Flow.

YogaWOD will increase recovery time, strengthen the muscles in an even manner, assist injury rehabilitation, and create equalibium in the musculoskeletal system.

YogaWOD™ is open to CrossFit Iconz members and NON members alike, so grab a friend and spread the word because space is limited.  YogaWOD is Strength, Flexibility and Endurance, something we all can benefit from!  So lets energize, align and discover why many professional athletes use Yoga to up their game – both performance and recovery.

Saturday, 30 July

Register Today .. Space is Limited!

Monday, 27 June, day after a weekend camping trip (primitive).  I had about three beers early in the afternoon, but switched to water and fruit.  Mostly because I didnt feel like drinking, secondly because of the heat (mid-90s).

Had a solid nights sleep, but woke up several times thirsty, so wasnt sure how I would feel during CrossFit.

Ate the Paleo athlete suggestion of “protein and fruit” (peach, 3 dried figs, 1/4 cantaloupe and red grapes).

We started with the ..

Warm Up

500 meter Row

20 Squats

20 Sit Ups

10 Hip Extensions

Before doing this I did 100 Jump Ropes and a minute or two of Back Extensions (I slept on the ground while camping so wanted to open my back up before warming up).  Then, instead of the Row, a few of us decided for the 400 meter Run instead.  The rest of the warm up was breezy.


800 meter Run

30 Snatch

800 meter Run

I thought this looked familiar, and Coach Keefa confirmed that it was from the site.  Interestingly enough, I was looking at this WOD last week when it was posted and thinking it looked like something I would enjoy.  Well .. I had my chance to find out!

It was a dark and humid morning, the smell of rain in the air, as we took off on the Run.  This brought back Army memories; and a chuckle, “If it ain’t rain’, we ain’t trainin’!”  As I have mentioned several times here on my blog, CrossFit reminds me of the Army’s 300 Club.  Not an official club, but organized by whoever feels motivated to herd all the 300+ PTers together for special work outs.  We never knew what to expect when we went to PT, and for me that was part of the fun .. the adventure.  Ive always tended toward diversity – in perspective to virtually all I do – so mixing things up with the unknown and a good challenge suits my personality.

So back at the affiliate – after 800 meters – Coach Keefa hands out the PVC pipe so run us through the ‘Burgender Warm Up‘.  She then asks us what weight we would like but in truth she already knows.  I do the same with my Yoga students: ask them to try something beyond their means, knowing full well what they will do.  And when they surprise me, its always a good thing!

So it was that I used the 15# bar, and once again, being the newbie in the room, had the lightest weight.  I like this because it affords me ample time to work on technique, something that is fundamental to my Yoga classes.

I like the Snatch.  Like the simplicity of the movement.  It felt organic.

Lots of times when doing the WOD, if I feel my rep is not right, then I dont count it.  Doing so, I often end up doing more than the prescribed rep, but that is just a number.  More important to me is technique.  That didnt happen with the Snatch; well, maybe once.  In all, I felt good about everyone.  Coach Keefa reminded me to drop my hips on one .. so I didnt count that one .. but other than that .. and again .. they just felt organic .. felt natural.

Before I knew it, I was done!  I thought, “Was it 30 or 50?”, so put down the bar, walked over to the board, read “30” and thought, “Darn!”, so took off on the second 800 meter Run.  Lol .. granted, if I had done more than 30, I might have felt differently about that number, but as was, I enjoyed the neat and straightforward movement, so didnt begrudge it.

The after run was good.  It was still cool outside, and being a ‘southern girl’, the humidity doesnt bother me, so the run was relaxing in places that I felt had tightened during the Snatch.  Making the Run a good opportunity to tune-in to the body.

Still following the Paleo athletes books, I had a post-work out snack waiting for me for the drive back to the house.  I felt good for the rest of the day, but still feel I am sleeping too much.  Granted, that is a variable thing, so each individual must determine the ‘right’ amount of sleep.  Because Ive noticed that that many CrossFitters will drink green tea or coffee, I decided to re-incorporate that into my schedule.  Which gave me an opportunity to pick up one of my favorite teas: Earl Grey.