Last month, my family vacationed for a few days in Lake Delton, WI. While most of our time was spent near water, on water (in a boat), and in water (swimming and such), we also went rock climbing. Along with a couple of guides, we drove about 20 minutes outside of Lake Delton to participate in our first-ever climb. Needless to say, my sisters, my 6-year-old nephew and I were anxious, excited, and maybe a bit apprehensive. However, we took to the rocks like champs, braving fears of heights and doing our best not to loose our grip during the climb.
To my surprise, I was quite good. Not to brag, but I got pretty far up during each climb, stretching for the next foothold, gliding steadily up the rock. One of our guides congratulated me after the first rock, and I mentioned that I practice yoga regularly. Her response? “Oh, well that explains it.” I didn’t question her then, but I thought a lot about her comment later that evening. What does yoga have to do with rock climbing?
After a few cups of ‘gyokuro imperial green tea with toasted rice’ (more on that later), and a bit of Google-ing, I began to make a few connections. Yoga leads you to discover your fullest potential on all levels. Focus, poise, maintaining your balance, and achieving fluid movement is essential as you flow in and out of poses – this is true in climbing as well.
Fear is a powerful emotion and can be a major limitation for climbers and yogis. Fear of falling or losing your balance can hinder a climber as well as a yogi attempting difficult poses and inversions. Overcoming fear is essential and can help to propel you higher up the rock and drive you deeper into your practice. I read, “If you are free from doubt when climbing or practicing yoga, you will be strong and steady.” Preach!
And, ya know, my 6-year-old nephew did an amazing job climbing as well. Soaring up the rocks, impressing our guides. He practices yoga once a week at school, and I’d like to think his familiarity with yoga principles had something to do with his success as a mini-climber 🙂
So go ahead, and Google “Yoga + Rock climbing.” I dare you.