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You’ve Heard of WODs, But WTF Are YODs?!

As CrossFit’s WODs (Workout of the Day) become more and more popular even among those outside of a box (lingo for a CrossFit meeting place), the idea of pushing the body to great limits in a short period of time is expanding into a new and somewhat unexpected arena. The YOD – a power yoga and HIIT hybrid – is emerging as a new way to challenge oneself with a lot lower impact. YOD stands for ‘Yoga of the Day,’ or ‘Your Own Determination’ in other circles, and it remains to be seen if it will be a passing fad or the next big thing.

YODs are a lot like WODs in that they use higher intensity strength and cardio moves while allowing the amount of repetitions or use of modifications to scale to an individual’s fitness level. A good portion of such a practice is performed in an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) manner – just like in CrossFit or bootcamp workouts. It’s all bodyweight, but it’s still a challenge of epic proportions.

YOD2

So, what exactly does a typical YOD look like?

Well, it starts off with about 20 minutes of power yoga, with no shortage of Chatarangas (essentially strict pushups) and Utkatasanas (squat holds). That in itself is quite a challenge, as anyone who has been to a power yoga class could tell you. To top it off, the whole practice is held in a heated room, much like Bikram, or hot, yoga.

So, once you’ve built up a good sweat, you move on to a bodyweight strength portion (as if Chatarangas weren’t enough) that everyone performs together. The moves change up with every session, but countless repetitions of pushups to side planks or squats to reaches are fairly common.

Then, comes the good part – HIIT! Everyone is given a set circuit of exercises and then encouraged to complete as many rounds as they safely can as quick as possible in a set period of time, which is usually between 10 and 15 minutes. The previous parts of the workout weren’t easy, but this is when practitioners can really push their limits.

Since the HIIT portion is so intense, the rest of the practice is devoted to restorative poses as a cooldown, followed by Savasana. Currently, there are only a couple of dozen YOD teachers around, but this new form of yoga may well appeal to those attracted purely to the physical side of a yoga practice. If YODs become more popular, this new style may well cause controversy among teachers concerned about proper form and alignment being lost in the push to complete circuits too quickly. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Photo by Minnesota Power Yoga

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