On Sundays: The Wolfpack breathe and prepare for the coming week.
How did I get into this crew? Well, certainly not because I was competing at the Crossfit Games or any of those competitions – just kidding. Back in 2014 I visited CFO for the first time, I brought a T-shirt from BIGG CROSSFIT Recoleta, my local box in Buenos Aires, to the boss Erik Magnus - and my inner fan came out when I asked him for a photo… anyway – it was until three months ago when I moved to Oslo, that Daniel – the wonder from down under - gave me the opportunity to coach a Yoga class on Sundays – and so far it has been a pleasure to share my practice with the Wolfpack family.
To be very honest I was very anxious before the first two classes where I stepped in for Guillermo, the regular Yoga instructor at CFO. Suddenly I was in front of more than 20 Norwegians, all of them super serious, looking at me and awaiting instructions. It gave me the chills! But still nothing that this Mexican can not handle; happily last sunday I made them laugh and enjoy the class.
We practiced “Kapalabhati and Sama Vritti Pranayama”, my personal two favourite types of breathing when it comes to Yoga Practice. The first one is a great breath to clean the body, increase our metabolic rate, engaging the muscles of exhalation as well as bringing a lot of energy and awereness to the mind. While, Sama Vritti Pranayama, dualize the lungs completly, helps to realese stress and by fully involving the mind, it is a good concentration exercise.
The whole idea of Yoga breath is to use our diaphragm complety to open up, expant into the chest so we can bring more energy exchange. Always through the nose, an amazing organ that we use to filter out the air and warm the oxygen to our lungs, so we have better oxygen in exchange to our lungs. Breathing is an amazing thing, something that I always focus on during my classes. I´m also alert that sometimes it can be frustrating – only a very accomplished practitioner can successfully coordinate complex movements with a calm, controlled breath. I remember perfectly when I started to practice how I wanted to pose an asana with an exquisite posture, embodiment of balance and grace. Foolish of me. It took me months to understand that everything comes together. Having said that, it is important no push pass our limits; make sure you feel comfortable when holding your breath. If you hold your breath beyond your limits, then it start to cause panic and the whole idea is to stay calm.
While writing this article I have realized that Crossfit and Yoga are both about finding your physical and mental limits and pushing them further than you thought you were capable of. Think about it, often in a Crossfit class you will hear instructors talking about inhaling and exhaling while you are working on a perfect front squat. That is what we in a Yoga class call “pranayama flowing through the central column of your body” used to achieved asanas such as: Padangustasana, Prasarita Padottanassana, etc.
I find this to be a great expression of human movement, a way to connect mind and body. Taking a Yoga class on an active recovery day, or week, to make sure you spend a dedicated hour of stretching. Let go and try a different practice, is also a challenge. But who does not like to be challenged?
Will I see you on sunday?