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Adventurous Rock Climbing and Yoga Retreat USA

Join Arizona Climbing and Adventure School on unique 3 day co-educational yoga and rock climbing workshops which take place in the remote and dramatic desert landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park. Among the beautiful settings, you will immerse yourselves in both yoga and rock climbing in a safe and supportive environment. If you've never rock climbed or rappelled before or have a little indoor rock gym experience, you'll benefit greatly from this hands-on workshop!

Retreat highlights

  • Yoga sessions
  • Meditation session
  • Afternoon nature hike
  • Workshop on rock climbing and rappelling
  • 2 nights’ camping
  • Daily meals

Skill level

  • Beginner

Yoga styles

3 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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You will camp out during this retreat.

Arizona Climbing and Adventure School USA Yoga Program

This program’s focus will be on "moving body over rock" and will incorporate exercises in yoga, breathing and balance. Participants will be introduced to a variety of climbing techniques as well as basic top-rope set up, belaying and rappelling skills. Depending on the experience of the group, Arizona Climbing and Adventure School may introduce multi-pitch techniques and mock-leading. Each day will include a 1 to 2 hour yoga class, shared discussions and evening activities. This is an ideal course for those who are excited about exploring a new medium of creativity and wanting a holistic schooling in rock climbing and rappelling.

Rock climbing

For a rock climber, reaching the top is not the point. Like rearing children, rock climbing is the journey that matters most if you are climbing for fitness.

Whether their journey lasts two hours or two days, rock climbers can benefit from a mental workout as well as a physical one, according to competitive climber Michelle Hurni, president of the Colorado-based American Sport Climbers Federation (ASCF).

Physically, rock climbing burns fat while strengthening muscles if pursued at a vigorous pace. Mentally, rock climbers exercise their ability to focus fully on a single task, an increasingly rare occurrence in this age of multitasking.

Climbers also get practice confronting their fears- the fear of heights, the fear of falling, and the fear of equipment failure. Ultimately, the sport can improve your self-confidence - if you learn how to climb safely, that is.

Ascending a natural rock wall burns up to 700 calories an hour if you weigh 140 pounds or up to 974 calories an hour if you weigh 190 pounds. Rock-climbing sessions tend to last at least six or seven hours.

In addition to offering an anaerobic and aerobic workout, rock climbing exercises almost every muscle group, according to Hurni of the ASCF. Rock climbing two or more times a week improves your strength, muscular and cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and mental toughness.

Yoga practices

  • Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon): builds strength in the leg, hip and glutes; develops balance, rotation in the spine, and flexibility; the perfect yoga pose in many ways.
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle): builds strength in your leg while your hips and front leg are really flexed open; rotation in the spine; composure and power in an elongated position.
  • Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III): builds strength in legs and hips, back; for an extra challenge, try one-legged Warrior III push-ups: bend the knee into a crouched Warrior III with hands in Namaste, and then stand back up to normal Warrior III; repeat.
  • Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana (Standing Split): again, not to sound like a broken record, but this pose builds strength within flexibility, especially when you take both hands to your ankle and use just the leg and hip to support your entire body weight, and to balance it. This pose also really helps to build “the subtle muscles” of the foot.

Workshop curriculum

Curriculum begins with a specialized "ground school", in which you will focus on the basics. This includes:

  • Balance
  • Weight distribution
  • Energy conservation
  • Choreographing moves
  • Bouldering concepts

These confidence-building exercises in balance, technique and trust are keys to your individual progress and enjoyment of rock climbing. Arizona Climbing and Adventure School’s instruction also includes detailed explanations on:

  • Equipment - proper use and care
  • Knots
  • Safety protocols
  • Hands-on belaying
  • Communication signals
  • Climbing terminology
  • Rappelling
  • Anchor setups

Included excursions

On this retreat you will have afternoon nature hikes.

Retreat location

This retreat will take place at Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA during fall, winter, and spring, and at Prescott, Arizona, USA during summer.

Joshua Tree National Park

If you think a desert is just one big sandbox, Joshua Tree's extremes will soon set you straight. Part mountainous Mojave Desert, part cactus-studded Colorado Desert lowlands, this national park is a mixture of lush fan palm oases and trackless sand dunes. In spring, the arid landscape puts on a surprising wildflower display, including pale yellow blooms on the twisted yucca for which the park is named. Some of the best climbing in the Western USA is found here.

What's included

  • 1 meditation session
  • 3 nights’ camping
  • Daily meals
  • Daily yoga practices
  • Rock climbing and rappelling workshops
  • Rock shoes, harness, and camping equipment rental

What's not included

  • Yoga mat
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