How Yoga Can Help with Rock Climbing

There are tremendous benefits of yoga practice. In fact, these benefits go beyond our mats. From dealing with your family to rock climbing, the practice builds a foundation of mental and physical balance, coordination, and strength.  Yoga also provides a different perspective and reshape how we undertake new endeavors.  As we focus on our breathing while in a challenging pose on the mat, we learn how to concentrate on the internal rather than being affected by your senses.

The mountains are calling and I must go – John Muir

heart-lake_edit

Certainly, my yoga practice brought me to one of the most beautiful places on earth – the Rocky Mountains. This was my first visit to Colorado where I fell in love with the Rockies right there and then.  Mixed with my newly found love for outdoors and a quest to be more adventurous. This was the moment when everything clicked.

Significantly, on of my teachers, Mr. TKV Desikachar taught his last yoga therapy lecture at the Colorado Yoga Journal in U.S.  As I was selecting my classes, I’ve noticed all day outdoor event offering yoga and rock-climbing.  Although, I was very nervous with my fear of heights I signed-up.  Can things get any better?

Adventure Day: Rock Climbing 

new_hights

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. – Nelson Mandela

It was one of these amazing and crystal clear fall day.  The day started with partner yoga led by Yoga Slackers team. Hike to the top of the mountains was next on the menu. Finally, the central part of adventure has begun.

As one of my friends, Jen  noted in one of her articles what it means to be adventurous:

ADVENTUROUS – adjective
willing to take risks or to try out new methods, ideas, or experiences.

To be honest, I am super brave and adventurous sitting on my couch as I am planning my adventures. In reality, on my first climb, I was in the midst of the mountain paralyzed with fear and stuck.  It was embarrassing. And had to remind myself that I signed up for this voluntarily. In the end, I had no choice, but to move. Yoga came to the rescue.

Yoga of Rock Climbing

anna_-yjc-rc

Connecting to the moment, the breath, the movement – this is what I was striving for – finding the oneness that can exist with all the things in nature and inside me.

In climbing, the goal is to move upwards, using the toes and fingers, along with the lines of the rock. The sport requires a significant degree of mental focus and physical strength and agility. You have to be present in each movement. You must make decisions, balance the body, assess the situation and take a step. Failure to maintain this balance means you can be in the danger of falling off the rock. At least, I found a good way to quiet my mind’s chatter!

Despite the fact that my Yoga Slackers are amazing teachers and my safety was their top priority, my mind was flooded with fear.  As a result, I had the worst first climb and was ready to give up. However, I hate giving up!  So I gave it another try.

On my second climb, I focused on my feet as I’ve done millions of times in my warrior sequence on the mat. I take controlled breath as soon as my mind started shouting at me that the rope will break at the top of the mountain, who do you think you are, etc. Eventually, my climb became a meditative practice. I focused on the present. I kept coming back to the same climb over and over for the rest of that day. Finally, I was able to enjoy myself.

The following year I went climbing in the east coast for a few times. I kept coming back to Colorado over the next six years. Eventually, I took one of the biggest risks in my life and moved to Colorado.

To conclude, don’t let the fear paralyze you living an adventures life. Practice yoga to bring you mind in a state of attention, pack a bag and let’s go!

Thanks for stopping by!

What’s your adventure story?

Leave a Reply