How yoga gave me my sport back by Ian Shaw

A few years ago I was looking for a new hobby, something that would help me stay in shape in any season, in any weather, but wasn’t too heavy on the bank account. I was lucky enough to find the perfect activity – rock climbing! Indoor or outdoor, solo or with a partner, at home or abroad, I fell in love with the sport.
Unfortunately, during my time as a beginner climber I was a bit of a fool. I had a tendency to drop down from significant heights on to the soft matting found in the gym, not realising that I was slowly doing significant damage to my poor knees. By 2015 the damage had become bad enough that I had to stop climbing for months at a time to let them recover, and my physio was recommending that I stop the sport entirely.
Around the same time, some folk from work started going to a new yoga studio in town. The trial period was pretty cheap, so I figured I’d give it a go. A lot of climbers do yoga to boost core strength and flexibility, but I had no idea the affect it would have on me.
After two weeks at Inspire, my knees were completely pain free. I couldn’t believe it. Months of seeing specialists had had no results, but less than a month of Forrest, Vinyasa and Ashtanga put me back on the wall with no troubles at all. I even went up a grade and knocked out some projects that I’d plateaued on for a while!
But that wasn’t the only benefit. I’ve found that after the morning classes, I’m far more focussed throughout the day. My sleep cycles are far more regular, and if I take a break from running or climbing for a holiday or to recuperate from injury, I recover far quicker.
Yoga gave me back my ability to climb pain free, I can’t put a price on that. A big thanks goes out to Claire and Alan, and all the instructors down at Inspire!