Nikki Yoga News – Yoga for Climbers at Stone Gardens

Perhaps a little known fact about me in the yoga world is I’m a rock climbing nuts who once declared that “climbing is love”. This is probably because during the period when I began to announce to the world that Nikki Chau the Yoga Teacher has arrived, Nikki Chau the accident-prone girl flipped over her bike handlebars, sprained her right wrist, and put her climbing shoes away for 6 months.

As my injury heals, I’m slowly starting to come back to climbing, back to moving my body around in space not just horizontally, but vertically.

Accidents and injuries, as anyone who climbs knows, are inevitable. It’s not a question of if, but when. Having had many injuries over the years, from competitive running in high school, to a year of backpacking in Europe and carrying heavy bags, to, of course, climbing, I’ve developed an interest, perhaps perversely so, for pain.

I’ve also learned a lot about different kinds of pain, and during my hiatus, I occasionally went to the climbing gym to meet up with friends, during which time I hung out and watched my fellow climbers in action. My mind would automatically observe the skeletal and muscular movement. I simply could not help analyzing them from a yoga teacher’s perspective.

So, I was excited that Bruce Andresen, the manager of Stone Gardens Climbers’ Gym in Ballard, asked me to come teach yoga. Today we put up posters around the gym and announced it on the Stone Gardens website. We ordered some top-quality yoga props from local company Barefoot Yoga: bamboo blocks, straps, mats, and blankets. It’s as official as it gets!

Seattle, if you climb, come! If you know someone who climbs, please let them know! We are giving it a test run with just one class session on Wednesday mornings from 7:15-8:30am. If there’s a lot of interest in other times, we will definitely expand!

From the flyer:

Yoga for Climbers

Strength, Flexibility, Breathing & Relaxation Techniques for Climbers

Yoga for Climbers is designed to help you cultivate useful techniques to incorporate in your climbing.The four-week series will cover the fundamentals of yoga including alignment, breathing and relaxation techniques. We will focus on areas of the body prone to climbing injuries and ways to prevent them.

Classes are appropriate for anyone new to yoga and practitioners looking to apply their yoga experience to climbing. While the classes are designed to build on one another, drop-ins are also welcome.

Dates & Cost

Wednesday mornings at Stone Gardens
7:15–8:30 am, begins January 6, 2010. 4-week series starting on the first Wednesday of every month.
Space is limited. Please call or visit Stone Gardens to register.
Free for Stone Gardens members, non-members must purchase day pass.

About Nikki Chau

Nikki is a Certified Yoga Instructor whose focus is the human anatomy and the fundamental principles of kinesiology in yoga. Her particular interest is in working with injuries and injury prevention.

Nikki is a long time climber who has found yoga and climbing to be a sweet combination in connecting the mind and the body. She looks forward to practicing both with all climbers and yoga enthusiasts.

Find out more about Nikki at Please email her at with any questions and inquiries.

Stone Gardens Info

2839 NW Market St. Seattle WA 98107
(206) 781-9828

Click here for the shiny PDF Yoga for Climbers at Stone Gardens flyer!

Climbing at Frenchman Coulee in Eastern Washington. Photographed for Patagonia.

Climbing at Frenchman Coulee in Eastern Washington. Photographed for Patagonia.