Yoga on the Rocks: A look at how Yoga & Climbing are complimentary.
"It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”.
This quote by Edmund Hillary is the motto of Alta Lourette, manager and yoga instructor at City ROCK Yoga Studio in Cape Town. After attending the City ROCK launch in Paarden Eiland, we got in touch with Alta to hear all about how rock climbing and yoga are the perfect combination.
"All you need to do is start." Alta said, as she explained how she got involved with yoga and climbing. Although her yoga practice started in 2005, it was only in 2012 that she started rock climbing. Since discovering yoga, it has been her backbone, her foundation, her lifestyle - keeping her grounded and sane. She was introduced to climbing by her boyfriend, who gave her the best advice for any yogi who is about to start their climbing journey:
Do what you do in yoga; breathe and listen to your body. Rock climbing is yoga on the rock. Best to stay with your breath, follow the breath, let your body guide you, observe your thoughts (decide to believe them or not) and stay mindful.
It wasn't too long before Alta was completely hooked and started finding the confidence when climbing outdoors too. "Your mind will play some serious games with you", Alta explained, highlighting the importance of bringing everything you know about yoga into your climbing session. Climbing, much like yoga, is a sport where no one laughs at you but rejoices in every victory you have. Both are suitable for people who are very young AND old. Because of climbing, Alta has learned to believe in endless possibilities. "I honestly love climbing and yoga equally now, not one more than the other."
5 ways in which yoga and climbing compliment each other:
- Mindfulness and bringing focus to the breath
- Developing body awareness
- Building core and body strength
- Gaining flexibility
- Challenging yourself; physically and mentally
After 6 months of climbing, she joined CityROCK and started teaching yoga at their studio. Since then, she has been madly in love with the vibe as much as ever. Each day she is excited to go to "work" and be involved with such a supportive and welcoming community. "It’s been the happiest and funnest place I’ve ever worked at.". With wonderful owners, friendly staff and a great team dynamic - what else could you ask for? When asked to describe the studio in three words, Alta responded with "unpretentious, welcoming and fun!"
The greatest thing about an indoor climbing place, like CityROCK is that you have the opportunity to meet so many people and easily make friends. There is no need to feel intimidated. The staff members at CityROCK are super approachable and are there to show you the ropes (literally). The same applies for the CityROCK Yoga Studio, where all classes are open to beginners as well as for more advanced yogis. Go to one class, and then go to another. Trying different styles & different teachers.
The only challenge for Alta is choosing between the two on a day when she knows it’s not right to do both. "I would choose the one that my body and mind needs the most on the day." Finding a balance is easy when she is able to do both at CityROCK! A yoga class is a perfect warm up for a climb, or she will climb first and stretch out afterwards in a class. When climbing outdoors, she suggests doing a few stretches before climbing. I honestly love climbing and yoga equally now, not one more than the other.
We asked Alta what her vision is for CityROCK's Yoga Studio:
"My vision for CityROCK’s yoga studio has been to be a cult-free, fun playground that is open to all. Giggles all around."
Alta has been employing quality teachers who she can see will fit into the happy vibe at CityROCK. The teachers are awesome and passionate about what they do. The team has each other’s backs and most have become climbers too.