Where do you go?
In the correlation between Yoga and RockClimbing, I think the number one thing I get asked is,
"Where do you go?"
Not in a physical sense, but a mental sense. Many have argued the point that climbing and yoga are just two polar opposites. Even going so far as to say, "Yoga is an 80/20, that you shouldn't be trying to your full extent to get in a better mental space. You know, don't force it. Where Climbing is all about forcing moves and trying your hardest!" Which, pardon my acronyms, but IDK WTF instructor told anyone that.
So, to avoid getting angsty over my feelings toward that debate, I'll answer with my personal journey. I go to the same place, and it's very dark no matter which practice I am in. Climbing and Yoga both are moving meditations for me. I am NOT kind to myself in my head, and I am always pushing getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Personally, I believe that I should be so deep in my meditation that I don't notice the pain. Holding a fully engaged Warrior II, a mono pocket with no feet, yoga or climbing, I push.
Usually my practice, whether yoga or climbing, consists of three sentences: "You're a sack of s***. THIS is why everyone leaves. Do better and prove the world wrong." Along with the whole, don't you dare give up now, you're worthless when I fail, and some other profanities at how I'm not doing my best and should just eliminate myself off the face of the earth.
Yeah, I go there. But I think that in yoga you should never become complacent with a posture, I've held a goddess a million different times, and each time I try something new. Sinking lower, pressing my knees back further, lifting unto my toes, holding my torso at different angles...just something that challenges my body to it's fullest extent. Same goes for climbing, constantly pushing grades, learning new techniques, getting my body to move more efficiently...anything that improves not only skill, but removes the fear.
The next argument was that, "Well that's not very yogic, self acceptance and all..." Maybe not, but for me this is the most acceptable I have ever been. Accepting that I am where I am, and that I not just want to be better, but I need to be better. I think that in accepting where I am, I learn where I can work harder, what I can do more of.
In both activities, the meditation for me is that my focus is only on one thing: What needs to be moving, and how can I execute it? This for me is my mat, it is the wall, it is my practice, one breath at a time.
This isn't my usual informational update, but something that's just been weighing on my mind as a connection point. So, in response, I'd like to challenge you to make a conscious observation of what helps you through that one really tough Ashtanga class, or that one problem you've been projecting.
Where do you go?