Length Lessons

Length Lessons

February 1st, 2012 by Perla Trevizo in Getout Climbing

I think yoga and rock climbing go together like peanut butter and jelly," she says. Yin yoga, a methodical, long, slow type of yoga, where you do stretches without warming up and hold poses for long periods of time, can help climbers add a couple of inches that can mean the difference between solving a problem or not, Ewart says.

Jessica Ewart leads a yoga class to help climbers.

It can help experienced climbers increase endurance and restore their bodies. And for those still working on their core strength - it can do that, too.

Luis Rodriguez, founding owner of the Tennessee Bouldering Authority, has been climbing for almost 20 years and practicing yoga since 2002. "When I first began, the best way to improve your climbing was to simply climb, and climb and climb," he says.

And it worked, he says, but at a cost. Climbing helped him develop greater mobility at the rock, but, he says "it also exhorted great forces onto my muscular frame, creating imbalances throughout."

Yoga is more than just stretching exercises infused with heavy breathing. The meditative depth, focus and personal introspection it demands is what sealed it for Rodriguez.

Now, he says, yoga has become more popular among climbers, and there are DVDs, books and yoga classes specifically designed for climbers.

Most yoga studios will have something that will fit a climbers' need, Ewart says, adding that the most important thing is to stick with it.