For many CrossFitters, the very word yoga causes the skin to crawl on the back of the neck as the vision of sweaty, half naked, tie-dye hot-panted men dance before the eyes.  But yoga isn't all soybeans and nag champa, and a lot of the ancient practice can be incorporated into CrossFit to great effect.

One of the most valuable and translatable parts of yoga is focusing in on your intention before you start moving. Intention can mean simply restating your goals to yourself - to qualify for the CrossFit games, to focus on your form even if it means sacrificing time, to RX the WOD. Maybe your goals are more short-term: to pause for a maximum of 5 breaths during the WOD, or to work on your coachability under pressure - whatever your goals may be, taking a minute to focus your mind on what you want to achieve means you're not auto-piloting through your workout.

Just checking in with why you brought yourself here today focuses your mind and gives you an appreciation for the time you are about to spend on yourself. Maybe this is the only time in the day that you are able to spend time on yourself -  so make it count. Take a cue from yoginis everywhere: set your intention before you WOD, and see how it heightens your experience.

Set your intention before the bar is even in your hands

Set your intention before the bar is even in your hands

Olivia Graff

Olivia's athletic origins lie in gymnastics and circus arts. After finding CrossFit in 2007, she became obsessed, and three years later left her IT career and opened United Barbell. Olivia is particularly passionate about helping people new to fitness to find joy in their growing athletic abilities. Since the birth of her daughter, Isis, in 2013, Olivia can add helping little ones find their athletic path to her list of passions.