My tiny puppy turned his little head to the side in confusion when my alarm went off at 5:45am. Even the sun wasn’t out of bed yet, so I threw on some clothes in the dark, fed my sleepy doggie friend (who immediately went back to sleep) and biked to BKB for the 6:30am Climb and Flow class– a class that combines yoga, meditation and climbing into an hour and a half class.
We started upstairs in the yoga studio where the first thing I noticed was how loud my knees were crunching and my shoulders were popping. Everyone else seemed to be having the same issue, so it was like a little symphony of snap, crackle, pops, and ujjayi breath (that’s yoga speak for taking deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth).
The sky was still dark but our instructor, Jason, had placed tiny LED lights around the room to allow us to slowly watch the sky grow brighter. Funny enough, as the sun awoke, I felt my body waking up, too.
As we began the yoga portion of the class, the second thing I noticed was how all the strength training I’d been doing lately has really been paying off. I can hold my side planks longer, and I can feel myself sinking even deeper into my warrior lunges than ever before. Where there were once shaking, weak, and achy muscles, I’m now able to truly move my body and feel my strength. Not only have I gotten noticeably stronger, but my flexibility has also improved.
It felt so good. I feel so good.
After yoga, we all headed downstairs to the mats and did a quick two minute meditation before our climb. And honestly? All I could think about was my avocado toast waiting to be made in my bag and my grumbling tummy. But Jason reminded us that the point of meditating is to get distracted, and then practice returning back to a calm mind; with practice, one calm, meditative breath can provide you the benefits of twenty.
That resonated with me.
Once we finished our meditation we began the climbing part of the class. I bouldered and then climbed some new sets on the auto-belays. Once again, I felt that strength that I haven’t felt in years, and I climbed five routes that day instead of tapping out at two or three.
By starting the class with the yoga practice, I really felt as though I was able to open up my muscles and clear my mind in a way that allowed me to feel connected to the climbing flow almost immediately. Candidly speaking, I think it was the first time I’ve ever really felt “flow”–a moment when your body and mind connect, allowing you to move fluidly without noticing the passing of time or where you are in space. It’s extremely meditative, and on my last route, I can honestly say I don’t remember how I got to the top.
I might need a nap later, but if I’m ever going to drag myself out of bed before the sun rises on a Friday, for any reason, I think I can safely say that this class was and is 100% worth it.