Yoga and climbing are inherently complementary. Considering the basic biomechanics that are required to climb, yoga provides a variety of dynamic movements that translate perfectly to the climbing wall. One of the most effective ways that one can improve their overall health and range of motion is to move dynamically as a whole, along with directly isolating and working with specific joint and muscular complexes.
Neither yoga nor climbing work exclusively with only one soft tissue chain. The overall styles of movement not only complement one another but help work toward correcting muscular imbalances that may occur from repetitive overuse in one area.
Reasons To Include Yoga In Your Climbing Regimen:
1. Mental Resilience & Focus
Mental acuity while climbing can be just as important as physical strength. One of the cornerstones of yoga is the practice of cultivating a sturdy ability to remain focused within the contexts one may encounter. When finding ourselves within psychologically challenging scenarios, like on the crag, maintaining a calm and focused demeanor is essential. Utilizing intentional breathing practices is one of the skill sets that yoga offers. It helps you stay calm and focused regardless of the challenges you are facing.
2. Foot Health
Since many who climb do so in incredibly tight-fitting climbing shoes, it can be very harsh on the feet. While tight footwear works well to support functional climbing techniques, it does not work well in supporting overall foot health. Yoga emphasizes natural barefoot movement. It uses both seated and standing balancing postures to help build resilience and strength in your feet while helping to restore a more natural and functional toe splay pattern.
3. Strength, Endurance, and Confidence
While there are some situations where yoga utilizes sustained passive loading (aka stretching), it’s only one very small portion of the practice. More modern styles of yoga are rooted in current exercise science and biomechanics. We have found that this practice does wonders for building functional strength and endurance. As you become stronger in your practice, you can expect to increase your overall confidence. Not only on the yoga mat, but while you are climbing, and in numerous other aspects of your daily life.
4. Body Awareness & Increased Proprioception
Proprioception refers to one’s awareness of their body’s movement. While generally heightening body awareness and proprioception are beneficial for most all things, it is especially useful and even essential while climbing. Being acutely aware of your body in space and in relation to its moving parts and surrounding environment gives you a definite advantage in terms of moving with intelligence and intuition.
5. Active Warm-up/Recovery
Yoga is the perfect regimen to add to your pre- and post-climbing routines to help prevent injuries. Prioritizing warming up your muscles, joints, and tendons and also giving them time to recover are important steps in supplementing your passion for climbing and keeping your body moving. Yoga emphasizes the movement of fluids that aid in better overall circulation and joint lubrication. Therefore, being an excellent complement before and after you climb.
Dynamic Movement Begins Here at Vertical Enedavors
Yoga offers the opportunity to actively increase your joint and muscular health to keep your body happy and strong while you climb. Every yoga session is a sequence of moves. Being able to see each part within its context of the greater whole is what cultivates a climbing style that is smooth and well-supported. A regular yoga routine provides the opportunity to become more attuned to how your body functions and supports itself as a whole.
Moral of the story? Get strong everywhere! Vertical Endeavors climbing gyms offer a variety of fitness classes. Are you interested in learning more or incorporating yoga into your climbing training? You can start by visiting this page to find the class that’s best for you!
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