People really like to climb stuff – walls, boulders, rock faces. I did it once myself, many moons ago, at an indoor climbing wall. It was fun and I managed to Spider-Woman my way to the top, but when it was my partner’s turn, I feared I’d accidentally un-belay him and watch him crash to the mat.
Yoga seems like the perfect accompaniment to all that climbing. When I see people doing it, I see some potentially achy shoulders, hips, low backs and hands.
Try these stretches after a climbing session. Hold each for about five rounds of breath.
For shoulders, chest and hips:
Warrior one with reverse prayer pose hands – From a low lunge position, ground your whole back foot to the mat with the toes angled out about 45 degrees. Keep your front foot pointed forward. Keep a lunge in your front leg and rise to standing. Keep your hips and shoulders facing forward as best you can. You might need to walk the feet out a little wider to accomplish that. Now bring your arms behind you and touch the palms together. If your shoulders are tight, grab your opposite bicep or use a yoga strap or towel to hold onto behind you.
Floor frog – Come to your knees and start to spread them as wide as you can. There will probably be some discomfort. Lean forward and place your forearms or hands on the ground. Look back at your feet and make sure your ankles are in line with your knees and your feet are flexed. You also want your hips stacked over your knees. This is a deep hip opener. Don’t hold your breath, as tempting as that might be.
Half pigeon – Come to all fours and bring your right knee to the ground behind your right wrist. Stretch the right foot toward the left of the mat or toward your left hip depending on your flexibility. Rest the leg on the mat. Extend the left leg straight back behind you and set it down on the mat. Make sure your toes are pointing straight back. Lean forward and come to either your forearms, all the way to your chest or stay propped up on your hands.
For shoulders, chest and hips:
Cross-legged seat with cowface arms – Just sitting in a cross-legged position is a great hip opener. If you don’t quite have the hip flexibility or if your knees are lifted way up in the air when you sit like this, try sitting on a yoga block or rolled-up towel. Bring one arm behind your back and lift the other straight up to the sky. Bend both elbows and try to clasp your hands behind you. If your shoulders are tight, hold a yoga strap or towel in the top hand and grab it with your bottom hand at a point that is comfortable. As always, make sure you have no pain. If you do, release or back out of the pose.
For wrists, hamstrings and spine:
Gorilla – Come to standing with your feet hip-width distance apart. Slightly bend your knees and fold forward. Lift the balls and toes of your feet and slide your hands, palms up, underneath them so your toes come to rest on the inside of your wrists. Keep the hands where they are and inhale as you flatten your back, exhale and fold forward as deeply as you can. Repeat that inhale/exhale movement a couple of times and then hold. Keep your knees as soft as needed and allow your elbows to press out to the sides of the room as you exhale and fold.
You can also give your hands and wrists a little massage here by gently pressing into them with your toes and feet.
What We Believe
We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More