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#18452 - 03/10/06 09:13 PM Yoga for climbing
Bolt_Skytop Offline

Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 422
Loc: New Paltz, New York
So I am one inflexible SOB. Those Yoga stretches in the article on this site looked like they would be really good for me. Problem is I can't do them and look at my computer at the same time and I am also too stupid to read the article and remember what to do. I have also ruled out Yoga classes because I would rather spend my time climbing then going to a yoga class.
So I was thinking video. Anybody know a good DVD yoga primer? There are like ten thousand on amazon and I don't want to randomly pick one. Anybody know of any that target climbing specific muscle groups like shoulders? I am looking for something easy and short. Thanks.

#18453 - 03/11/06 10:33 PM Re: Yoga for climbing [Re: Bolt_Skytop]
Frank Florence Offline

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 529
Loc: moved to Bend
There are streaming videos of common poses you can check out for free at Look in the “New to Yoga” section.

The web site also has a comprehensive article that describes the different approaches to yoga practice titled “Not All Yoga Is Created Equal.” You might want to look it over to get a sense of what direction some of the books and DVDs on the market take.

Rodney Yee is a capable instructor who’s authored a good book for self instruction (“Moving Toward Balance”) and he has some DVDs out, too. He goes through some nice developmental progressions, which it sounds like you’d appreciate. He’s also a fan of using simple apparatus (chair, towel, wood blocks) when initially developing flexibility and strength.

At the risk of being too preachy, I’ll say that if what you’re looking for really is something easy and short, you’re probably not going to realize much improvement to your flexibility. Over time, yoga practice can help, but it’s no magic bullet. I don’t know what a minimum amount of time would be to see the improvement you want, but Yee and many other instructors recommend sessions of 45 minutes or more. You may have the personality or time to do some postures while at work, but that never played out well for me, unless I go to a gym at lunch time. I do better with some initial warm-up exercises, like some Sun salutations, before getting into the postures, etc. But by all means, try it out. You may hit upon an approach that works fine for you, even if it isn’t exactly what you thought it might be at the onset.

#18454 - 03/12/06 04:05 AM Re: Yoga for climbing [Re: Frank Florence]
webmaster Offline


Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
I agree with most of what Frank said above. Rodney Yee is an excellent teacher and has some good videos. Personally, I'm a big fan of John Friend who has developed a yoga style called Anusara, which is based on the earlier Iyengar style. What I like about this approach (and that's really how all of these style differ--at advanced stages, they all look very similar) it that it puts a like of focus on developing core strength and alignment as a means of achieving flexibility. This prevents practitioners from getting injured, and I think it gives you a better connection to your body. So rather than just looking at a posture, and trying to emulate it, Anusara style teaches you to feel the posture from the inside so that you know how "deep" you can go in any given posture, and how to find your "work zone".

There is no substitute for going to a class with a good instructor. You don't need to go regularly, but it's very helpful to have someone watch you and correct you. Once you have the basics, you can do it on your own wherever you are. An instructor can also give you specific postures (asanas) to focus on that will address the areas you're trying to loosen up--that are unlikely to be in the videos.

There's no reason to think that you have to surrender climbing time for yoga class. You can find a class to fit in with your schedule. There happens to be an excellent beginners class here in New Paltz on Saturday afternoons at 5p so you can climb all day, go to class and still make it out to the bar at night. If you'd like, I'd be happy to recommend a school or teacher if you're in the tri-state area. I know many of the teachers.

evan marks
I wish I could read every post...

#18455 - 03/12/06 02:47 PM Re: Yoga for climbing [Re: Bolt_Skytop]
Leemouse2 Offline

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 459
Loc: Rosendale, NY
I would agree on the classes. Even though I have been practicing yoga myself for quite a while, I get more out of it if I go to classes at least once a week. The motivation to hold those difficult asanas and the adjustments in my poses that the instructors are able to provide is priceless. When I practice at home it's generally for less time.

Besides, if you are willing to set aside 45 minutes to watch a video, why not set aside an hour to go to class? Most places have early morning and evening classes so you won't be sacrificing time at the cliffs.
It's hard to be brave when you're a chicken.

#18456 - 04/01/06 06:27 PM Re: Yoga for climbing [Re: webmaster]
marcyt Offline

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I was glad to find the yoga posts because I am planning to spend time climbing in the gunks from June 17th-July 2nd. I also wanted to take time to learn more about yoga and meditation, etc. I was hoping to find a good teacher or center in new paltz. Who do you recommend?

#18457 - 04/03/06 02:52 PM Re: Yoga for climbing [Re: marcyt]
webmaster Offline


Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
Without having met you, it's not possible to determine which studio would be best for you. So check out these links, and call the studios if you'd like. Of course once you get here, you can always find me at the office, and I could give you my opinion then. Good luck:

Astanga of New Paltz--Michael's classes are excellent
Bliss --in Stone Ridge, about 15 minutes from the cliff. Teachers I prefer are Jeff and Gillian
The Living Seed--About 10 seconds from the New Paltz Thruway exit. Carissa is an excellent teacher
Jai Ma--right next door to the Astanga place. Ami's classes are good.

If you're interested in Meditation, I would suggest Sky Lake Lodge

evan marks
I wish I could read every post...

#18458 - 04/03/06 04:00 PM Re: Yoga for climbing [Re: webmaster]
Bill Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 85
Loc: Mass Land
I have been using Rodney Yee's Yoga Conditioning for Athletes for two years and have found it helpful. You can find a description at Rodney has two other individuals demonstrating beginner and intermediate level versions of poses while he does the advanced versions. I find it a helpful feature.

It pays to be patient starting out and really focus on carefully duplicating the poses as you see them on the video and on listening to Rodney's narration on how the pose is supposed to be done and how it is supposed to be feeling. Back off if you feel the slightest twinge or discomfit. I learned it is very easy to tweak a muscle through incorrect posture or pushing too hard as you first begin working with the routine. But if you stay with it things really come together within a couple of weeks.

It is good advice to seek out some instruction when you are starting out. I probably would have made quicker progress and avoided some of the "tweaks" had I done so.

I really made an effort to do 2 or 3 sessions a week using the video this winter and I feel that the effort has paid off. My range for high stepping and heel hooking has definitely improved. I also feel my hips have definitely loosened up and allow me to more comfortably get my body over my feet while stemming and backstepping. You also definitely get a good core, small of the back and abdominal muscles, workout with the routine. It supplements the weight lifting I do for the core since the yoga involves twisting movements that my lifting routine does not.

Good luck with it. If you do get into it I would be interested in learning if, and how it worked for you.


#18459 - 04/03/06 07:59 PM Re: Yoga for climbing [Re: Bill]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
I like strawberry yogurt for climbing. Occasionally I will have raspberry though.


#18460 - 04/08/06 08:43 PM Re: Yoga for climbing [Re: marcyt]
jalexander Offline

Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 2
Loc: Westfield, NJ
If you havent tried it already try Bikram yoga. It seems over the top the first (few) times, but it is great for your body, for developing focus and just feeling good. I'm not sure about studios in New Paltz though. Maybe someone who lives there might have more info.

- John


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