In the beginning was Namaste

Eden May, 20, uses yoga to help steady her mind and focus during rock climbing. She demonstrates the first posture of the sun salutation series. This is the first post of a yoga pose series for Xpress by freelance writer and yoga instructor, Kate Lundquist.

Yoga is an ancient practice and philosophy that most people know as the asanas (physical postures); however, yoga is more than the hour long strength building and flexibility work on a sticky mat. The practice brings a calm state of mind, creativity, and focus that we can transfer into other areas of our life.

May, a student at Warren-Wilson College and an avid rock climber, uses the first pose in the sun salutation series: hands at Namaste, to focus and center her energy. “It’s always in the beginning,” May says about the Namaste posture, which means, “I bow to you” in Sanskrit. “It is initiation to change from everyday life to practice.”

She uses the hands at heart center to begin not only her practice on the yoga mat but also to steady herself for rock climbing. “It is knowing that you are about to be present from that point to the end,” she says. “Whenever I am about to start a route, I stand there, take a deep breath, close my eyes, and center my energy. It is my yoga practice on a different terrain.”

New heights: Eden May practices her rock climbing downtown at Climb Max Asheville, located at 43 Wall St.


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