How Satvana Yoga, or “Warrior Yoga”, Benefits CrossFit Athletes
There is no shortage of versions and interpretations of yoga. While the poses—the operating language of yoga—are generally the same, yoga teachers have created different forms of the practice to serve different people, different needs, and different goals.
My own version of yoga, designed to work within the Firebreather Fitness program, is called Satvana yoga. In Satvana yoga, our body of practice is referred to as “Satvanaga.” This term comes from the Sanskrit word “Satvana,” which means “warrior,” and is combined with the Sanskrit word “yoga,” which means “union.”
On a physical level, Satvana yoga brings deep awareness in understanding how the body moves in space and time:
Body awareness: Yoga provides athletes with deep awareness into how the body moves and feels in space and time. Our senses turn inward, and we deepen the body’s intuition. The inner stillness we develop spills over into physical fitness endeavors, including improved quality of movement and virtuosity.
Core development: The core in yoga is built at a very deep and integrated level. We learn how to root into the earth and how to ground ourselves during dynamic movement.
Physical balance: Balancing poses in yoga begin in the mind, then extend through the core, into the earth. Balance in yoga goes beyond typical athletic balance and leads to gracefulness in action, impeccable timing, smoothness of motion, and increased spatial awareness.
Mobility: The deep twisting, bending, and extension work we achieve through yoga poses significantly increases our range of motion and mobility for all athletic endeavors.
Spinal health: The lengthening effect of the standing and bending yoga poses increases space between the vertebra of the spine, reducing a host of injury-related symptoms.
Concentration: Yoga deepens our concentration and our ability to coordinate the movement of the body and breath in action. Yoga has been referred to as a “moving concentration practice.”
Satvana yoga offers much more than just physical benefits. Through dedicated practice, a student’s senses turn inward and develop the ability to listen and feel with refined skill and sensitivity. Practitioners have a deepened sense of intuition and awareness. Furthermore, the inner strength that practitioners develop spills over into physical pursuits, improving quality of movement, virtuosity, and gracefulness.
On an internal level, Satvana yoga connects students with their higher self, life purpose, and the spiritual realm.
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