yoga for climbers
posted: March 23, 2010
Living in the mountains of Banff National Park for the past couple of years, I naturally found myself attracted to explore the peaks on weekends, seeking higher elevations each time. This ended up becoming a total love of climbing in all its forms: rock climbing, mountaineering, ice climbing, and anything else involving an upward motion.
Rock climbing at Wasootch.
For years, climbing nearly destroyed my back and shoulders. The weight of large, heavy packs and equipment, especially when I was out mountaineering, wound my back into knots no one could undo. My massage therapist would do his best, letting out an audible and confused, ‘hmmmm’ as he worked away at my shoulder blades. Nothing seemed to work out the kinks, until yoga came along.
I didn’t start practicing yoga with hopes that it would resolve my back issues. A friend of mine invited me to go with her, and I simply jumped at the opportunity to try something new. Within weeks of starting yoga, however, I noticed that my back and shoulder pain had mostly subsided. All those downward dogs and spinal twists offered the perfect remedy to the wear and tear my climbing habits had caused.
Rock climbing at Grassi Lakes.
I also didn’t anticipate the benefits that yoga would have for my climbing. Regular yoga classes actually improved my flexibility and core strength, which allowed me to push the limits in my climbing. This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship!
Now I am a committed member of a wonderful yoga community at lululemon athletica and in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and it goes so far beyond finding relief from back pain. I am thankful to have found that yoga pushes my physical limits, challenges my focus, and restores my spirit like any good climb up a rocky face.
Tree Pose in the Okanagan! Does it get any better than this?
If you’re a climber, try yoga too! You won’t think anymore about how your body will pay for the awesome moves you pulled to ascend the route.
This blog post was written by Meghan, a keyleader and community guru at lululemon athletica Banff. She (obviously) enjoys climbing and yoga, and also loves to ski tour, hike, and camp in the backcountry. Meghan is also a freelance writer and loves writing about mountain culture, wellness, and the experiences of women in the wild. You can check out Meghan’s website.