5 Reasons Why Climbers Should Meditate
Meditation may not be the first activity that comes to mind when you think of a high intensity activity like rock or mountain climbing, but it’s a winning combination. On the face of it, the two activities seem to be at odds with each other, with one requiring you to remain still and calm, while the other gives you an adrenaline rush. Yet, these seemingly opposite activities have much more in common than you would think. While physical fitness and strength are often cited as crucial for rock climbing, we often forget the importance of a healthy mind.
Both your body and mind need to be in a healthy state before you begin climbing. Exercises can help you achieve the physical strength, but it is through meditation that you can acquire mental strength and balance. Although seemingly unconnected, meditation can be very beneficial to climbers.
Here are 5 ways in which meditation helps enhance your climbing fitness levels.
Most meditation techniques involve concentrating on your breath, thereby making you more aware of your breathing. With regular meditation, you can learn to breathe properly, so that it improves your blood circulation and keeps you healthy. This is highly beneficial, when climbing, especially at high altitudes.
Improved Thinking and Concentration
There’s scarcely any activity as beneficial as meditation and yoga for climbers as it greatly enhances concentration levels. Naturally, rock climbing is a sport that requires immense concentration and focus, so as to avoid any accidents. Meditation also enhances your cognitive function and decision-making skills. This is critical for climbers, as they may have to take some quick, yet smart decisions, when maneuvering unexpected turns or unfamiliar situations.
Calm Under Stress
Climbing is an intense activity, but it wouldn’t be half as thrilling if it didn’t have so many scares. Climbers are often presented with terrifying situations that can even unnerve experienced mountaineers, but the key to a successful climb is keeping calm. If you panic at every situation fraught with risk, climbing would be a stressful activity. With meditation, you are can battle your emotions and stress and more effectively. This is extremely helpful as it allows you to think clearly during crisis situations. It is for this reason that many seasoned climbers recommend meditation for climbing to high-risk or unknown terrains.
The aforementioned stress of climbing can often cloud your judgment or impair your memory. This can be dangerous while climbing as it can cause you to forget crucial instructions and make poor choices. The memory boosting effect is just one of the many other benefits of meditative yoga for climbers. This helps you easily recall the particular approach or action that is required in a difficult situation.
Injury Prevention and Recovery
Another use of meditation for climbing is that helps to increase self-awareness, not just in terms of your mind, but also in terms of your physical abilities. This helps in avoiding injuries, as you are better aware of your limitations and are less likely to yourself too hard. On the other hand, in the event that you do suffer an injury or accident during a climb, meditation can help you battle depression and fear, improving your chances of survival.
Meditating regularly makes you confident and allows you to conquer your fears. So the next time you plan a climbing fitness routine, don’t forget to include meditation in your practice.