After a long hiatus, I’m trying to get back into rock climbing. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick with it and can start posting climbing-oriented yoga sequences on this blog again.
I went to the climbing gym for the first time in a very long while, and was reminded very quickly just how fun climbing is, and also how well it goes with yoga. There was actually a route named “Yoga Helps”–rated a 10c–and, yes, yoga did help. To my great surprise, I made it to the top without falling or taking any breaks.
There are some obvious ways in which yoga and climbing are compatible. The upper body strength needed for climbing is developed by and needed for yoga, especially when it comes to arm balances and handstands. Also, the “strength within flexibility” which one develops in yoga is very useful in rock climbing: the greater the range of motion you have with your limbs, and the more strength and control you can exert throughout that entire range of motion, the more agile you will be.
More interesting for me, however, are the ways in which yoga and climbing both demand the same sorts of mental skills. Both require a certain level of fearlessness, not to mention focus, body awareness, calm in the face of intense challenge, and sometimes a strong dose tapas.
My biggest challenge has been finding the time to teach yoga, do yoga, and also climb. There’s only so many hours in a day, after all, and being a full-time PhD student is my main priority and takes up most of my time. So I often find myself having to choose between different activities. If someone would just open up a yoga studio and climbing gym in one, I’d be all set!