The Connection Between Climbing and Yoga - Sender One Climbing

Sweat begins to form drops on your forehead as you control your breath.  Your arm muscles swell as they are stretched to comply with your requests.  Your core body is engaged as it maintains your balance, keeping you from falling.  Whether you are hanging on, upside down, clenched to the rock, pulling yourself up a mountain; or you are face down on a mat, pushing yourself up into a knee-to-arm Chaturanga Pose, the Yin and Yang of yoga and climbing find a perfect complement and balance to each other.

Rock climbing and yoga require you to step out of your comfort zone while strengthening the connection between mind and body through similar types of movement and mindfulness.  The secrets to both yoga and climbing can be found through the following connections:

Improve Your Balance

The key to building balance from both yoga and bouldering in Los Angeles is both physical and mental.  Balance improves your coordination and can prevent injury from falling, and yoga can help do that by mastering transitions between poses and developing power.  Yoga helps you connect your body with your mind and allows you to find your center of gravity – a critical skill when rock climbing.  It gives you a sense of where you are in space and how your body parts work together, which can be invaluable when you are reaching for that next foothold.  Having an awareness of your body can help you know where pain and other sensations in your body are coming from.

Balance centered yoga poses also improve coordination, increase your strength, and help you develop stability.  Each balance pose works to strengthen different muscles and joints of the body.  Standing balance poses strengthen the legs and knee joints, while arm balances strengthen the wrists, arms, and shoulder muscles.

Besides physical benefits, learning and practicing yoga poses also provides emotional benefits like relieving stress, and reducing tension and fatigue.  These asanas also help to improve focus, concentration, and memory, which are all strong components of the climbing practice.

Sender One members working on their Hollowback Handstand at Sender One SNA’s Yoga Studio
Image by Crystal Tan

Build the Same Sets of Muscles

One of the most apparent benefits of yoga is becoming more flexible.  Rock climbing can be challenging and physically draining.  From drop-knees to heel-hooks, adequate flexibility is a necessary part of climbing movement.  Did you know that your yoga training can be geared specifically to improve the muscles you need most to pull off these moves when climbing?  Your core, back, arm, and hand muscles will be put to the test when you scale a Los Angeles rock climb.  Rock climbing, particularly on steep overhanging cliffs or boulders, requires a great deal of upper-body pulling strength.  It is also a fact that finger strength is usually the weakest link as well as the first thing to waste away with disuse.  Poses, like the downward-facing dog and plank, help strengthen your core.  The side plank is great for toning your arms and shoulders.  You can stretch out those hamstrings with poses like the wide-legged standing forward bend.  Performing these poses with your fingers spread out can help strengthen your wrists and increase your finger grip while out on the rock.  You can also create more strength and flexibility in your hands with specific yoga exercises like the salutation seal.

Sender One member bouldering at Sender One LAX
Image by Crystal Tan

Increase Ability to Focus through Breathing

Many believe the most important crossover between rock climbing and yoga is breath.  When mastering the complexity of movement in both rock climbing and yoga, breathing is the key ingredient.  Yoga trains you to concentrate on breathing and let everything else fade away.  By concentrating on breathing, your brain and body can emphasize movement and intuition.  Maintaining a concentrated breath helps climbers keep calm on the rock when they are exerting themselves or find themselves in a dangerous situation.

Combine Climbing and Yoga at Sender One

The best rock climbing facility in Orange county offers expanded yoga training at its Santa Ana location.  Daily yoga classes are held at Sender One’s Los Angeles location as well.  In addition to yoga, Sender One Climbing has one of the finest bouldering and rope climbing facilities in Los Angeles and Orange County and offers kids birthday parties, corporate team building events, as well as a fitness center, and a place to share your climbing passion with others.  You can choose from a wide selection of yoga classes at both locations. Sign up or stop by for a class that fits in your busy schedule!

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