All photos: Eleonora Raggi
Yoga and Climbing go together like rocks and mountains as they share a lot of prerequisites and beautifully complement each other.
Next to a certain amount of strength, you also need a lot of flexibility (in your mind as well as your body, but more on that later) which is one of the main effects of yoga.
What you don’t get in yoga, you get from climbing – and vice versa. In yoga you hold your poses for quite some time, even in a dynamic style like vinyasa flow you stay and breath in certain asanas, building up the deepest sheets of muscles and fascial tissue. This is a component that you’re missing in climbing, where you do hang out a lot, but are more working with peaks and bursts of energy and strength. Yet there is one movement missing from most yoga routines: pulling (up), of which climbing has more than plenty to offer.
And also the mental aspect of both disciplines is very similar, offering great synergies. Yoga is a great way to watch and study your mind, all its fluctuations and especially the fears and doubts arising when trying something new, like a new pose, or even something scary, like a handstand or other upside down asanas. And even though a handstand is or can be scary, chances of serious consequences are rather slim (as long as you’re not practicing right in front of a glass window or a on the edge of a cliff). Very much unlike climbing, where you definitely can get into trouble if you freak out in the middle of a wall or doubt your grip on the next rock. So building your focus and concentration on the yoga mat is a great aid for all previous climbing routes and at the same time, the focus and concentration from climbing can also help to deepen your yoga and meditation practice.
Same goes for the breath, which is equally important in both activities. Yoga offers you a huge practice ground and various different experiences to study your breath and keep it calm even in challenging situations and an agitated physical state – again with very little change for negative consequences.
Hence when I first tried climbing with a solid yoga practice of +10 years and an even greater love for arm balance poses, it felt almost natural. Of course having experienced friends show me the lines and offering valuable tips and tricks for tricky corners helped tremendously. Whether yogi or climber, we all know how crucial balance is – in our lives as well as in body and muscles and mind. And to combine the joys and benefits of both, I’ll be teaching a course dedicated to „Yoga for Climbers“ in Innsbruck as well as a series of „Yoga & Climbing Camps“ Arco in the North of Italy.
Yoga Climbing Camp – Arco, Italy
August 30th – September 1st, 2019
Click here for more info, all details & booking! And watch the clip below for some first impressions on what to expect…