What do yogis and climbers have in common? A balance of muscular strength, tenacity, and a sound mind. Olivia Hsu, professional climber and world-renowned yoga instructor, explains how yoga and climbing are a symbiotic practice, supporting each other to achieve mind-body connection and peace, and how CBD can support athletic recovery.
Q: How did you first get into climbing?
A: It actually wasn’t until I was attending University in Australia that I decided to join an outdoor climbing club. I’ll never forget the first time I climbed. I was out climbing with all these super muscly guys. I quickly realized I was the only one that had made it to the top and it dawned on me that, in climbing, you can be really strong but if you can’t figure out a route to go, you’re not going to get very far. I just needed to trust my instincts and climb the wall!
Q: How did you first get into yoga?
A: 2 years into my climbing career, I injured my finger. That’s when I walked into my first Mysore Ashtanga class. I thought I’d take some time off and go back to climbing. But then I fell in love with the practice and started doing it every day. Yoga not only compliments climbing,it compliments life. All the things in your life, they’re all intertwined. Whether it’s work or an activity you’re into, if you’re not happy, that’s going to affect all facets of your life.
CBD products are becoming widely used in yoga classes and for a variety of sport and fitness related activities. The therapeutic benefits of CBD include pain relief from muscle soreness.
— Marcus Sanchez
Q: How would you describe the connection between yoga + climbing?
A: It’s interesting, on many levels, they’re very similar. On a physical level, they both require a lot of neurological connections and flexibility. You’re doing multiple complex movements at the same time. In yoga, your feet are doing one thing while your arms are doing something else. Climbing is very similar. You have different handholds and footholds and there’s a certain synchronicity that your body moves in to achieve your goal. At the mental level, climbing and yoga really require you to just stay present in your body. Climbing, you can’t be thinking about doing other things. You’re focused on what you’re doing right then and there or else you’re gonna fall off the wall. Yoga is the same too, if you’re doing a complex posture and you’re thinking about something else, you might fall out of that posture.
Q: How would you advise yogis interested in climbing to get into it?
A: Bouldering tends to be more powerful. You can think of it like a sprint – 10 moves to get to the top. When you’re on a rope climb, you’re doing more like 120 moves or more to get to the top. But people who do yoga already have a good base for it. They have great flexibility and ideal power-to-weight ratio. So they just have to go out and do it!
Interested in joining Olivia on a yoga/climbing retreat? Find out more here!