As featured in the June issue of Yoga Journal:

Incorporate these CrossFit exercises into your workout routine to strengthen your practice and mind-body connection.

The CrossFit craze may seem a little hardcore for the yoga mat, but incorporating some of its functional movements into your workout routine can strengthen your practice and mind-body connection. Yoga instructor and CrossFit trainer Debbie Steingesser, founder of the CrossFit-for-yoga site, shares the best moves for yogis.


Practice Perk: Strong core
The Move: While jumping rope, slowly accelerate, springing slightly higher each time. Settle into a rhythmic pace, then use your wrists to whip the rope around twice for every jump. Jump for 20 seconds and rest for 10. Repeat for 4 minutes.

Weighted Squats

Practice Perk: Spinal stability
The Move: Hold a bar across your shoulders. With feet hip-width apart, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, knees over toes; return to standing position. Use heavier weights in a slow set of 3 to 6 squats, or use lighter weights for a rapid set of 10 to 20.


Practice Perk: Upper-body strength
The Move: Hang from a pull-up bar in a neutral position. Exhale and pull your body straight up, driving your elbows toward your rib cage. Return to start. Work up to 3 sets of 5. For an easier version, knot a resistance band around the bar and let the hanging loop hold some of your weight.

Hollow Body Rocks

Practice Perk:Balance
The Move: Lie face-up on your mat, arms reaching past your ears. Lift your arms, shoulders, upper back, and feet. Hold or rock forward and back for 20 seconds and rest for 10. Repeat these intervals for 4 minutes.