For many climbers, getting up in the morning and drinking coffee is enough of a warmup for them to work a full day without any major issues. For others, doing stretches helps ease them into their day.
Isn't stretching the same as yoga? Or does yoga entail wearing strange clothes while getting into contorted positions that your coworkers are sure to ridicule you for the rest of the work day?
More than ever before climbers are finding the true benefits of yoga to help with not only flexibility but also their breathing patterns while performing in the tree. By practicing basic yoga any climber can benefit from more controlled breathing and better balance.
By calming your breathing you can calm your nerves. How many times do you do this while dismantling a dead tree or out on the tips of those limbs? By controlling our breathing we can control our nerves and make some of these stressful situations a bit easier to deal with.
In this first video, Chris Sharma, considered one of the best rock climbers, explains some very easy yoga poses to help with stretching and calming the nerves. Though this is based around rock climbing many of the principles are the same for tree climbing.
Chris explains picturing the moves before heading up the rock and many times we picture exactly what needs to be done to complete our jobs. This visualization helps with decision making and calming the nerves. He also explains that stretching and yoga help reduce injuries while getting older.
The biggest complaint about being an arborist is not being able to do it forever, sooner or later our bodies are going to give out. Maybe some preventative measures would help extend our climbing careers!
The link below is about a woman teaching high altitude alpine climbers to use yoga to prevent injury and reduce stressful in some of the worlds toughest places. Many of the toughest climbers were worried about falling during poses or looking out of place while stretching. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Too many times we become overwhelmed with the thought that yoga means standing on our hands with our feet wrapped around our head! With simple poses we could open up our spine and hip flexors for a much more comfortable day.
Why not go into our day feeling refreshed from the start? Yoga is a great way for us as climbers to prevent injury, gain more energy, become more flexible, and relieve stress. Try out some basic poses and advance if you feel comfortable but most of all get comfortable with stretching and breathing, you won't regret it once you start!