Join us on our unique two and three-day Yoga and Rock Climbing Workshops which take place in the remote and dramatic desert landscapes of Mount Lemmon near Tucson, the McDowell Mountain Preserve in the heart of the Sonoran Desert near Scottsdale, Arizona (Fall, Winter and early Spring) or the high alpine area's of Prescott National Forest (late Spring, Summer and Fall). We also have an optional all inclusive package which includes all camping equipment and food.

Or, explore a living treasure and make memories you will remember for a lifetime. Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve - home to giant Saguaro cactus and red tailed hawks. The Preserve currently encompasses more than 30,000 contiguous acres with over 170 miles of trails and hundreds of rock climbing routes.

Among these beautiful settings, we will immerse ourselves 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. Elizabeth Suffolk will instruct you in the principles of yoga that are applicable to rock climbing - be prepared to be thoroughly blown away by this course!

This Yoga and Rock Climbing (and rappelling) Workshop is a collection of physical and mental techniques for building awareness to observe what is in the present moment. The refinement of these techniques is what allows one’s attention to be focused and present, creating connections between patterns of thought, breath, posture, and emotions all linked in the physiology of the body.

Every day as living, breathing human beings, we are met with challenges; whether we are hanging from a rock or seeking balance in our work, yoga and rock climbing can support and enhance our experiences by providing mindfulness, self-confidence, courage and strength.

Our 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 rapelling skills. Depending on the experience of the group, we may introduce multi-pitch techniques and mock-leading. Each day will include a 1-2 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.

A lot of yogis find that once they reach a certain level in their yoga practice, they are no longer interested in participating in other forms of exercise or sport. For instance, many serious yogis do not lift weights, because the kind of muscle development that comes with lifting weights can be counterproductive to what we are developing in our asana practice, which is what we like to call “strength within flexibility.”

One physical activity that is totally consistent with a serious yoga practice, however, is rock climbing. In fact, we might even venture to say that yoga and rock climbing are a match made in heaven. A lot of other climbers who don’t practice yoga seem to buy into the popular misconception that the main and perhaps only thing you develop physically in yoga is flexibility. This is clearly wrong.

The physical development that comes with yoga is strength within flexibility. Also, the balance, focus, poise, agility, etc. that one develops in a yoga practice all translate extremely well to rock climbing.

Most importantly, perhaps, there is also a certain kind of “no fear” or “just let go” outlook of non-attachment that one develops in yoga that translates so well to rock climbing. Specifically, there are many moves in climbing that involve risk and uncertainty, but, as Imost students have found if one lets go of attachments to the “what ifs”, this is accompanied by a kind of liberation that allows one to truly and fully exist in the present moment, exactly what one needs to make that next difficult move. You can’t, after all, expect much success in rock climbing if you are constantly or even periodically thinking to yourself, “What will happen if the next move doesn’t go as planned and I fall?” In fact, you don’t even need to consciously think such a thought for it to get in your way. So long as the basic notion exists within you somewhere, even as a feeling or the mere seed of an unformed thought, that’s enough to take you out of the moment and to cause the kind of nervousness and/or hesitation that, ironically, will result in your making a mistake and falling.

What are some specific asanas that are good for rock climbing? Here’s a partial list tof what we will be practicing during the Workshop:

• 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.

Rock climbing’s special combination of mental and physical challenges make it a unique experience. Once you’ve tried it, you’re hooked.

The intrinsic rewards that come from combining concentration, agility, balance, strength and judgement are unequalled in any other sport. Nothing heightens the senses more than the combination of delight and relief that comes from reaching the top of a demanding rock climbing route. Whatever standard you rock climb at, from novice to expert, these feelings remain the same. The key lies in seeking out new and exciting challenges.

Curriculum begins with our specialized "ground school", in which we focus on the basics.
This includes:
• Balance
• Weight distribution
• Energy conservation
• Choreographing moves
• Bouldering concepts

Note: You can expect to spend 30% of the day at "ground school" and 70% climbing.

These confidence-building exercises in balance, technique and trust are key to your individual progress and enjoyment of rock climbing. Our instruction also includes detailed explanations on:
• Equipment - proper use & care
• Knots
• Safety protocols
• Hands-on belaying
• Communication signals
• Climbing terminology
• Rappelling
• Anchor setups

The remainder of the day you are on top-rope protected climbs of up to 150 feet on high angled rock faces. Superior and personalized climbing instruction makes for a quality learning experience. Note: With smaller size classes (less than 4 students), the first day is dedicted to basic rock climbing skills the second day is focused on yoga techniques/exercises and rappelling.

We'll also cover rappelling and the basic top rope anchoring system concepts - including artificial and natural anchor placements. As you continue to refine the basics, you'll encounter new and varied climbing opportunities and be exposed to more challenging rock.
We suggest taking our Beginner III Climbing Course and Intermediate Course before you set out on your own. You will need a daypack (we rent daypacks if needed).

We have an optional overnight campout package availabe which includes tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, breakfast (2nd day), lunch (both days), dinner, snacks and beverages. Camping will be at McDowell Mountain Park Campground which has real toilets and showers.

Imagine the true darkness that only pure, deep desert can provide. The star-filled skies above hold almost no glow from nearby cities, allowing amazing star and moon gazing. The stillness is broken only by the songs of the coyotes. 
We will enjoy a late afternoon nature hike, a meditation session and story telling around a campfire!

Yoga and Climbing Instructors: Amylee Thornhill and Titiana Shostak-Kinker
Yoga Instructor: Beth Suffolk


..Prescott or McDowell Sonoran Preserve $655 per person
(2-day Workshop w/campout/meals)
..Prescott or McDowell Sonoran Preserve $515 per person (2-day Workshop bring your meals/camp gear)
..Mt. Lemmon* $1110 per person (3-day w/campout/gear/meals)
..Mt. Lemmon* $775 per person (3-day bring your meals/camp gear)
..*Note: All Workshops are for groups of 2 or more
..Call or email us to schedule your group (open dates/schedule).
..$249 additional charge for single person private Joshua Tree course/workshop.


..Class Size
..Minimum 2 - Maximum 6 per Instructor

..Discounts .
REI Members $10 Off
.Bring-A-Friend $25 Off

..Ages .
18 and Up

..Equipment .
Included - rental rock shoes, harness, camping equipment*, meals*, etc.) .
...Bring your yoga mat or rent for $10
..*all inclusive includes all rental climbing and camping equipment and meals

..Location .
Mount Lemmon, McDowell Mountains Fall/Winter/Spring - Prescott during Spring and Summer

..Times .
8:00 am - Summer / 8:30 am - Fall /Winter/Spring

..Written Test
Little or no rock climbing experience

..Course Info
..Pre-Course Info will be emailed to participant upon course sign-up

...recommended reading for the course above:
... Aware of the Mountain: Mountaineeering as Yoga by Gil Parker

Our instructors are all active climbers, kayakers and backpackers.
Our staff are among the best in the Southwest.
They become full instructors after one year of rigorous training, testing and field work during which they learn ACAS's safety procedures, curriculum, process, technical standards, interpersonal/educational methods, and low impact backcountry techniques.

Our select staff are former instructors or graduates of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Arizona Mountain Group Association, American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and/or Outward Bound School! Their years of climbing and teaching have made them unequalled in safety and experience. Climbing and wilderness adventures are more than our business, it's our way of life!

To sign up for a course call or email us to check availability. If a course is open click on the On-line Application Form or go to our application and map (meeting point) site, print out both the Application (PDF), Map and Waiver. Fill out the application and fax or mail it to us (don't fax the waiver, just bring it the day of your course).

Note: *Summer courses start at 6:00 a.m. - October thru April Intermediate courses start at 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 depending upon weather at the designated pick-up point. Call us the day before your course starts to verify start time. Bring your own snacks, lunch, water, sunblock and wear appropriate clothing. Camera (disposable), writing pad and pen are recommended.
*Summer courses - May 1 thru September 30.

due to weather or illness can be recheduled within 12 months of original starting or a refund (minus 20%) will be refun
Although we spare no effort to assure a safe program, we can assume no responsibility for your safety or loss of personal equipment. In a sport of this nature an element of risk is inherent and beyond human control. A signed release (waiver) will be required of all participants. A parent or guardian release is required for students under the age of 18. These can be obtained in advance by contacting our office or downloading from our website.