One of our heroes, Steph Davis, has said she practices yoga daily and has used it to prep for specific climbs.
Climbing is hard on the body. Especially for a newbie like me. When I say “newbie” what I really mean is not so much that I’m new to climbing, but that I’m new to any sort of athletic training, like, at all. I’ve gone through workout fads in the past that never really lasted, but this climbing thing is sticking (2 years this past month!). So, it’s a lot to take in. Knowing how hard to push myself and when to slow down are totally novel concepts. I’m trying to learn to listen to my own body in a new way. And lately my body is telling me that I am a 95-year-old woman. I have a hip injury, I think I’m growing a bunion on my right foot, and my fingers get sore and stiff. Seriously, like an old woman. I also notice that I’m sore for like three days after lead climbing, especially if I’ve taken any “weird” falls (and most of my falls are weird, I’m working on it, that’s for another post). I have been in physical therapy the past two months for the injury, a strained psoas muscle. The psoas is, first off, a muscle I never knew existed. Secondly, it’s a muscle that we apparently rely very heavily on in climbing, as it is the only muscle that connects the lumbar spine to the leg. We need it for high stepping, for hip flexibility, which allows us to pull ourselves closer into the wall, which is very important, especially on overhanging climbs. In addition to all the ailments, I’m feeling mentally a little creaky too: hard time focusing, not sleeping great, freaky head game on lead climbs. So, in comes the idea to try yoga. I need to stretch out, and chill out, so it seems like just the thing. Every climbing gym seems to offer yoga classes, so there must be a reason right? My plan is to try it for 30 days, and see what all the fuss it about. Here’s what I’m planning: