What Is Cliff Side Yoga? These Chinese Yogis Took The Practice To Literal New Heights
If you've ever tried an advanced vinyasa flow, you know just how challenging a yoga class can get. Like, anyone who says yoga is easy clearly hasn't been blinded by their own sweat while chilling in downward dog (curse you, gravity). But, if you thought yoga was hard before, imagine practicing it on the side of a freaking cliff. And what is cliff-side yoga, you may ask? To say the least, it takes yoga to a completely different level, and in more ways than one.
TBH, when I think about performing some of the difficult balances sprinkled throughout a typical yoga class on a f*cking cliff, I get queasy almost instantaneously. And yet, Chinese yoga enthusiasts are bravely making this scary endeavor a total reality, and showing everyone how to take a simple tree pose to literal new heights.
In China, approximately 10 million people practice yoga now, and as that number continues to grow, so do the varieties of yoga classes available. From goat yoga to stand-up paddleboard yoga, aerial yoga, and acro yoga, I honestly thought I'd seen and tried it all. But 38 Chinese yogis proved me wrong and took the traditional practice to a new level -- about 200 meters high, to be exact, people.
These fearless women attached themselves to wires at a nauseatingly steep cliff in central China, casually flowing through the class like it was just any other day at the yoga studio.
As a yoga teacher, I have so many feelings looking at these images. First of all, how the hell do you maintain even breathing when you're 200 meters above solid ground? Secondly, I'm assuming showing up to class late is just not a thing when it comes to cliff-side yoga? And lastly, I think I'm going to be sick.
I've got to say, even though I've practiced yoga for years, I have trouble balancing even in the easiest of asanas some days. So, for example, when it came to trying something like stand-up paddleboard yoga for the first time, I was definitely wary of all the things that could go wrong. Still, I managed to get over my fears, and I took the plunge -- literally, that is, because I plunged right into that water when I fell off my board.
So, if you're telling me that my plunge into water would be replaced with a plunge to my death when trying cliff-side yoga, I'm going to have to go with a hard pass on that one.
Anyway, despite the fact that I can't wrap my brain around doing yoga on the side of a cliff, these fearless yogis aren't the only ones taking their asanas to new altitudes.
A group of women gathered on yet another cliff in China to show that they were fearless AF, and not at all phased by heights.
Mashable reported on the story in 2016, saying that according to Chinese media, the daring display of down dog was in order to "promote a healthy lifestyle."
Um, I don't know about you, but I think I'll stick to adding some ground flaxseed to my morning smoothie to promote my own healthy lifestyle. Plummeting to my death doesn't sound like it'll give me that holistic glow, you feel me?
If you're already queasy AF just thinking about all of this, I should warn you that I'm about to amp up the intensity even more (yes, that is possible).
This woman and her partner combined challenging acro yoga with daring cliff-side yoga, and even though it looks gorgeous, I feel like I'm going to pass out just by glancing at the photos.
I mean, I guess if you have trust issues, this would be the best, most foolproof way to make those doubts disappear forever.
But, again, I think I'll stick to my smoothies and my usual savasana, thank you.