Yoga is one of the simplest ways to improve your rock climbing. It not only increases your flexibility, but it also promotes balance, improves your strength, calms your mind, helps with injury prevention, and teaches you how to be mindful of your body. New Jersey-based yoga instructor, and avid rock climber Malka Abreu says, “I believe yoga and rock climbing are a symbiotic practice, supporting each other to push you out of your comfort zone while strengthening the connection between your mind and body through similar types of movement, breathing, and mindfulness. Yoga has really challenged my ability to sit with uncomfortable situations.”
After all, when you’re in class holding a posture that feels unbearable, you have no choice but to tune into your body in that moment and breathe through the discomfort. Yoga trains you to concentrate on your breath and let everything else fade away. By doing so, your brain and body can focus on movement and increase intuition. As long as we keep showing up and putting in the work, physically and mentally, we will see results. “The same thing goes for climbing. When you reach the crux of your climb and you feel like you can’t make it through or you just took a huge whip and don’t feel like moving forward, you must challenge yourself to be in that hard and uncomfortable situation and to learn how to breathe through it. Only then will we be able to truly make progress and reach that next hold.”
By adding these 10 poses into your daily routine you can say goodbye to tight hips and hamstrings and say hello to heel hooks and high feet! In this sequence, Malka will guide you through some of her favorite stretches to wake up your mind and prepare your body for climbing, or to soothe and release your body after a climb.