My first experience with yoga was in a Nepalese hostel in the city of Pokhara. Every morning at 6am, my dreadlock-clad roommate rose with the morning sun and struck a series of poses on the balcony overlooking the lake. He tried many times to drag me out of bed to join him, but at the time I was a bit of a yoga cynic. I would roll my eyes at the thought of yoga.
Yoga seemed like a fad, a placebo that made yogis feel better about themselves; but it offered no real health benefits. Fast forward tot 6 years and a lot has changed, including my opinion on yoga.
For me, yoga is great for two things. First of all is the obvious benefit: flexibility and strength. I started with Bikram yoga and then went along with Fightmaster Yoga’s YouTube videos. I’ve gone from struggling to touch my toes to getting my palms flat on the floor. I’ve still got a long way to go but I’ve started to notice an improvement in my climbing. My legs can twist and turn higher and further than they ever could before. It’s been making those dihedral routes much more comfortable. Stretching also feels great. At times, it can be painful but after it’s amazing and really helps me relax. I’ve also noticed that I’ve developed more core strength. It helps with everything; I notice it when I’m running, swimming or even just sitting at my desk.
The second thing that I never considered 6 years ago is how breathing can influence your mind and how much your mind can influence your body. I know I’m starting to sound very tie-dye here but bear with me. I can slow my heart rate by controlling my breathing. Yoga is the same you can use your breath to calm yourself which then relaxes your body. This helps with anxiety, since being stressed for prolonged periods of time is really unhealthy. Learning to concentrate on a positive outlook is what links climbing and freediving. If you panic at the crux of a climb or the turn of a dive, you can get yourself into real trouble. The wrong thought at the wrong time can give you a nasty fall or even a blackout under water.
That’s why yoga has been so useful for me. It’s improved my ability to control what’s going on in my head and, as a consequence, what’s going on with my body.
OM YOga Show Glasgow Giveaway
Interested in yoga? Fancy giving it a try? Or maybe you’re already a yogi-pro and want to get some master tips. I’m not quite good enough to teach you, but luckily I’ve partnered with OM Yoga Show to find people who are yogi masters.
OM Yoga Show is one of the biggest yoga gatherings in Europe, and one of the largest events of its kind in the world. This year, it’s making its big debut in Glasgow, Scotland on the 25th and 26th of March. It’s the perfect introduction to the ancient practice of yoga. Visitors come to the show to immerse themselves in the yogi atmosphere. Tons of free open classes within the exhibition are led by amazing teachers and are suited for all levels. Whether you’re a complete newbie like me or have been practicing yoga since you learned to walk, this event is one of a kind for you. Throughout the event, there will be over 100 exhibitors to provide a fantastic range of yoga accessories, yoga clothing, delicious bites, drinks and retreats.
It’s an OM-mazing event and we want to give YOU the chance to score a FREE ticket to the OM Yoga Show at the SECC Glasgow on the 25th and 26th of March! Entering this competition is super easy: simply “LIKE/FOLLOW” our Facebook Page (Angus and Vivian Adventures) and “SHARE” this blog post or the Facebook post. Two winners will be selected at random by 12pm GMT Wednesday, 22nd March. Good luck and happy yogi days!