An elite level climber who has spent over half of her life defying gravity, Olivia Hsu found yoga to be the perfect compliment to climbing, cultivating focus and flexibility on both the mental and physical levels. She has studied Ashtanga for nearly two decades and has been studying continuously with Richard Freeman and Tim Miller for over a decade. Being an elite level athlete she has been able to find the delicate balance between practice and training and understands the myriad ways in which yoga complements doing what you love.
Olivia has appeared on the cover of magazines such as Yoga Journal and Rock and Ice, and written about yoga for climbers in publications such as Yoga Journal, Climbing, Back Packer Magazine, and featured in Mantra Magazine and Elephant Journal, among others. She has climbed and practiced yoga with some of the best in the world including Chris Sharma and Jimmy Chin and is passionate about bringing yoga to the next generation of climbers.
Olivia’s classes are rooted in cultivating mindfulness that flows from a focused and continuous asana practice be it in the yoga shala or climbing on the crag. Her unique understanding of the nuances within both disciplines enables her to build flexibility, stamina, strength, and awareness in her students while reaching new experiential summits and full body freedom. Olivia travels extensively throughout the year leading classes, retreats, and intensives in dozens of countries all over the world, bringing her unique combination of experience and perspective to both dedicated yoga practitioners and professional climbers alike.
If you are a rock climber, you have to check out these classes (and all her yoga for climbers classes) NOW:
- Flexibility Flow for Climbers – Build a baseline of flexibility and mobility for climbers. Work on increasing your flexibility and range of movement which will translate to the rock. Warm up with sun salutations and learn the basics of poses like triangle, side angle, butterfly and bridge that target the areas that generally get tight for climbers – shoulders, neck, hips, and legs. A great way to open up and bring more freedom to your climbing.
- No More Belayer’s Neck – A practice to help climbers counter the strain that climbing places on your neck. Designed to increase awareness in neck positioning while belaying, this class helps give your neck and scalenes a little love. A great way to keep your neck muscles functioning well for a lifetime of climbing. Props Needed: A strap or a belt.
- Killer Heel Hooks – Engage in your legs and build awareness in your hamstring sit-bone connection. Hamstrings are often overlooked in conditioning, and this class helps you bring strength to those muscles, so you can heel hook with more ease. Sequencing includes forward folds, pulsing lunge exercises, lengthening leg stretches and bridge pose.
- De-pump Your Forearms – Stretch out between climbs with this sequence that will give you the perfect amount of prep for your next sending burn when climbing. Work it with arm exercises and forearm stretches that help get that lactic acid moving out of your pumped arms. Sometimes stretching too much can cause muscles to not fire as well, but this class will help you stretch just the right amount for your send burn.
- TLC for Climber’s Hands – Give your hands some attention with this quick class designed to bring relief to your overworked wrists, hands and forearms. Improve mobility in your wrists and fingers with exercises that also engage your upper body. Begin seated with poses that work your side body, then move into creative, fluid movements that stretch out and lengthen your hand’s ligaments.
- Creating Durable Shoulders for Climbing – This mindful practice helps you engage and stretch your arms and chest for better functional movement, building more durable shoulders. Work on broadening your collarbones and activating your shoulders with exercises that build greater range of motion and upper body awareness. Shoulder mobility and durability means more days at the crag! Props Needed: A strap.
- Climber’s Hips & Hamstrings – The importance of the lower half of your body is often undervalued in climbing. Legs and hips often get tight during climbing and become less mobile. Increase flexibility and range of motion in your hips and hamstrings to access more power and efficiency when moving across the rock. Practice poses like half pigeon, lunges and ardha matsyendrasana to loosen up your hips and hamstrings, giving you more freedom for high stepping. Props Suggested: A towel, a pillow or a block.
Please join us in welcoming Olivia Hsu to YogaGlo!