3 ways I’m improving my climbing this month

Looking for ways to spice up your climbing? Here are three ways I’m doing that in the next month.

 Better nutrition

Earlier this week, I slathered a spoonful of Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter on half a banana as I grabbed my climbing gear and ran out the door. As I struggled to make it up the wall, my arms felt like jello, and my energy level lagged at empty.

Contrast that with last Friday afternoon, when I blended a Vanilla Chai-flavored Amazing Meal – a protein powder billed as a “100% whole food nutrition mix” – with almond milk and banana, before a two-hour climbing session. That evening, I climbed some of the hardest routes I’ve attempted, and succeeded. My muscles sometimes went to slack mid-way through the route, but would recover quickly.

Amazing Meal is a great product. But I’ve learned that just eating a good, protein-full snack before a climbing session can make a big difference in my energy level and ability.

 Hot pants

Ever since I discovered YogaGlo, I’ve been streaming a class every morning before work. One of my favorite teachers on the site is Tiffany Cruikshank. Her classes are great, but what I really love are her bright-colored yoga pants.

“Where can I find bright yoga pants?” I asked my mom. Twenty minutes later, she sent me the website www.beyondyoga.com.

Fellow seekers of spandex pants in lava, lapis, and mosaic teal, rejoice. These are the Crayola-colored yoga pants we’ve been dreaming of.

 New challenges

But let’s be honest. Eating like a vegan bodybuilder and wearing blackberry-hued bottoms will mean little if I’m not continuing to learn and challenge myself on the climbing wall.

Case in point: Months ago, I made it my goal to learn to lead climb. I took the lead course, but never had the guts to get lead-certified.

Now, I have a new incentive. Looks like my adventure-princess-in-crime sister and I will be taking a trip to Joshua Tree in February, and I’d sure love to be able to lead climb there! (More on this adventure to come!

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Yoga videos to rock your world

Because I am one myself, I have a good sense of what climbers want to get out of a yoga class: Shoulder-opening, hip-opening, and maybe some fun balances, to take advantage of that great core and arm strength.

I have a solid repertoire of these types of stretches and poses, and I incorporate them into the Yoga for Climbers class I teach at MetalMark Climbing & Fitness. But I was thrilled to gain inspiration from Jason Crandell’s 30-minute “Stong Shoulder, Hip and Groin Flow” class on the awesome Website, YogaGlo.com. (I’ve described it to friends as Hulu.com for yogis.)

Crandell’s class – which you can stream through the site, using their 15-day free trial membership – methodically worked deeper and deeper into the shoulders, hips and groin. The sequence’s flow was calm, allowing screaming muscles to relax and surrender.

I adapted a bunch of his sequences, and built them into a recent one-hour class. At the end of the class, one student said she felt like she had been “floating.”

If you are a yoga instructor looking for inspiration, definitely check out YogaGlo – some great teachers are sharing their wisdom there! And if you are a yoga student who can’t make it to your daily class, this is a great opportunity to practice at home, with some very special teachers.

And no matter what your level of yoga, you should definitely check out this going-viral video, Sh*t Yogis Say. Holla, from my mala!