Sometimes a climbing trip becomes so much more than great weather, wonderful rock, deep learning experiences and rewarding achievements. The great people, wonderful ideas, deep thoughtful moments and rewarding sources of motivation combined with the climbing to produce a profoundly refreshing week.
As an occasional freelance instructor for The Castle Climbing Centre, I was fortunate to be offered a free place on a Climb Catalunya yoga and climbing trip for Castle customers – food, accommodation and transport in exchange for my contribution towards the smooth running of the trip.
I joined Caroline, Emily, Fabrice, Paola, Paula, Rachel, Satu and Yasir for a week of yoga, meditation and climbing in the beautiful Montsec mountains – south of the Pyrenees in north west Catalunya and packed with a mouth watering range of single pitch sport climbs and adventurous multi pitch routes up to 650m in length.
Our days began with up to 2 hours of meditation and yoga, followed by breakfast, a full day at the crag, an hour of yoga before dinner and a half hour meditation before bed. We could dip in and out of the schedule as we saw fit – sleeping in, resting in the shade or relaxing and chatting.
A week without phone or internet, with plenty of time and opportunity to meditate and practice yoga with our fine teacher, Sudaka, alongside climbing and simply being in nature brought a welcome change in perspective to the busy pace of life that comes with developing a new business in London.
In addition to Climb Catalunya, Gee is the founder of Eco-Dharma – a Buddhist community offering courses, events and retreats which ‘support the realisation of our human potential and the development of an ecological consciousness’. Meeting Alex, Carol, Gee and Rob (all of whom live in the Eco Dharma community and help to run the Climb Catalunya courses) was an un-expected blessing that made the trip into so much more than I had hoped for. Time spent with them has encouraged me to consider Mountain Magic’s values more deeply and explore with renewed enthusiasm the bigger picture of how I would like my work to grow and develop.
As if the week was conspiring to fill with me fresh ideas, new perspectives and sustaining outlooks, Yasir introduced me to a website called TED, with the slogan ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. I really can’t recommend the site highly enough. Amongst some entertaining and thought provoking talks, I was particularly moved and inspired by Sir Ken Robinson and his talk entitled ‘Bring On The Learning Revolution’. After years of frustration with our education system and our government’s approach to children and young people, this was music to my ears.
Environmental sustainability and nature-based, person-centered education are themes I am particularly keen to explore and incorporate into Mountain Magic’s development. Perhaps Mountain Magic’s first steps towards working in education and the environment are just around the corner…
Oh yes, we did some climbing too: