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A Yogi’s Expertise Taking the World’s Highest Altitude Yoga Class On High of the Chachani Volcano

I used to be not too long ago sponsored to hitch a small staff of Peruvian yogis and athletes to aim the World's Highest Altitude Yoga class on high of the Chachani Volcano in Arequipa, Peru and participate in a documentary movie concerning the expertise.

Photographer: Erick Llantoy Cornejo

The purpose was to bridge climbing and yoga and discover the numerous components of our yoga follow which will assist a excessive altitude hike, comparable to the power to manage the breath, the psychological capability to take one conscious step at a time, and the bodily facet of training yoga in excessive altitude.

The expertise of climbing Chachani with a staff jogged my memory that we will solely see the Self mirrored again in others.

Though I had little climbing expertise, it appeared like a chance of a lifetime, so I accepted.

As I started to organize, questions and fears started to trickle in: What’s excessive altitude? Is it secure? How chilly is it on the high? How ought to I prepare for this? Why am I doing this?

The yoga follow teaches us to face what surfaces, so I sat with this final query for per week. I noticed I disliked being uncomfortable. I hated feeling chilly, drained, or hungry and would go to nice lengths to keep away from these sensations.

I felt an inside name to go to Peru and get uncomfortable to face the discomfort I used to be avoiding, not solely in bodily sensations, however emotionally too. . .

What’s Excessive Altitude?

Excessive altitude = 1,500 – three,500 meters (Four,900 – 11,500 ft)
Very excessive altitude = three,500 – 5,500 meters (11,500 – 18,000 ft)
Excessive excessive altitude = above 5,500 meters (18,000 ft)

Chachani Volcano is 6,057m (19,725ft).

In excessive altitude, there’s much less oxygen molecules in the identical quantity of air as you inhale, so it decreases the quantity of oxygen you obtain.

Inside the first few hours of publicity to excessive altitude your respiratory price will increase, water loss will increase, and your metabolism hastens.

There are three sorts of medical issues that may happen attributable to excessive altitude:

Acute mountain illness. Signs embody headache, nausea, lethargy, dizziness, disturbed sleep
Excessive-altitude pulmonary edema, or swelling (HAPE)
Excessive altitude cerebral edema (HACE)

You possibly can management for signs of altitude illness by acclimatizing, or exposing your self to excessive altitude to regulate to the decrease degree of oxygen. For instance, ascending at a sluggish tempo and spending time acclimatizing each 1000m.

If signs happen, they’re often alleviated by going again down. Whereas you are able to do your finest to manage for altitude illness, there aren’t any recognized correlations.

How I Ready for a Excessive Altitude Yoga Class On the Chachani Volcano

I had two months to coach for this expedition. I continued my each day yoga follow and each day pranayama. I added in Four-5 days per week or 1 hour on the stair machine, in addition to some power coaching.

Within the final month of coaching, I used an oxygen masks whereas on the stair machine. Oxygen masks lower the quantity of oxygen you obtain. I additionally watched YouTube movies about climbing Chachani, gathered an inventory of what to pack, and watched just a few documentaries on mountaineering and Peru.

 Yoga Chachani Mountain "width =" 400 "top =" 500 "class =" aligncenter size-full wp-image-99029 "/> </p>
<h3><span class= Touring to Arequipa, Peru

I wished to offer myself further time to acclimatize, so I arrived in Arequipa three days earlier than the entire staff did. Arequipa's altitude is 2,328m (7,638ft). 4 volcanoes body town of Arequipa: The Misti, Ampato, Pichu Pichu, and Chachani.

In the course of the first few days, I familiarized myself with the middle sq., took some yoga footage across the metropolis, and acquired to know the movie crew. I skilled little signs of the change in altitude other than a lack of urge for food.

Acclimatization Day

 Yoga Chachani Mountain 2 "width =" 730 "top =" 500 "class =" aligncenter size-full wp-image-99030 "/> </p>
<p> To acclimatize for our Chachani hike and yoga class, we hiked the Huarancante 5426m (17,802ft). About half means up, one staff member started to expertise altitude illness. Once we acquired near the summit it began to snow with sturdy winds and the terrain grew to become rocky and slim. </p>
<p> The nearer I inched towards the summit, the farther away my staff members appeared from me and one another. It grew to become very laborious to breathe and I might solely breathe out and in via my mouth. </p>
<p> I used to be inhaling for a single depend of 1, and out for a depend of 1. There was a second once I puzzled if I used to be hyperventilating and if I’d make it to the highest. </p>
<p> I recalled the whole lot I had examine tips on how to hike at excessive altitude, which you might summarize as: take one step at a time. So what I did. I took one child step at a time and centered on my breath till I reached the summit. As soon as there, the snow turned to hail and the wind was so sturdy the hail was hitting us from the facet. </p>
<p> Whereas I’d usually have discovered a strategy to keep away from this example like asking one of many guides to return down with me, I believed experiencing these situations was precisely why I wished to come back, so as a substitute I sat. I took Sukhasana, or Simple Seated Pose, on an odd rock and closed my eyes.  </p>
<p> I recalled the whole lot I had examine tips on how to hike at excessive altitude, which you might summarize as: take one step at a time. </p>
<p> My fingers and toes stung from the chilly. My nostril was working and my eyes watered, my physique started to shiver. Whereas I centered on the sensations in my physique I requested myself, how unhealthy is that this, actually? </p>
<p> Was this any totally different than different uncomfortable conditions at sea degree? About 40 minutes later the staff and crew got here again and we made our descent down the mountain. </p>
<p> The following day, we started our mission. </p>
<h2><span class= My Expertise Taking the World's Highest Altitude Yoga Class On High of the Chachani Volcano

Learn on for my expertise of climbing at extraordinarily excessive altitudes, and doing yoga alongside the way in which.

 Yoga Chachani Mountain three "width =" 730 "top =" 500 "class =" aligncenter size-full wp-image-99031 "/> </p>
<h3><span class= Chachani Volcano: Day 1, Base Camp

We drove to basecamp at about 4400m (14,435ft). Whereas there have been seven yogis / athletes on our climbing staff, there was additionally a movie crew of 4 plus 10 guides and porters.

Base camp was arrange and we practiced our first excessive altitude yoga class. At this altitude, I seen it was laborious to steadiness and a bit tougher to breathe.

Love climbing and yoga too? Apply These 10 Yoga Poses for Hikers and Outside Lovers

After lunch, we had free time. I organized my stuff in my tent and took an acclimatizing hike up about 1000m. Then I watched an unforgettable sundown and did some nighttime stargazing.

 Yoga Chachani Mountain Four "width =" 730 "top =" 500 "class =" aligncenter size-full wp-image-99034 "/> </p>
<h3><span class= Chachani Volcano: Day 2, Excessive Camp

 Yoga Chachani Mountain 5 "width =" 730 "top =" 500 "class =" aligncenter size-full wp-image-99035 "/> </p>
<p> Day two centered on climbing from base camp to hike camp 5,150m (16,896ft). The hike was windy and rocky, however the views had been spectacular. Once we arrived at excessive camp we settled in and took one other yoga class. We ate dinner and went to mattress early to organize for our morning hike to the summit. </p>
<p class=

Chachani Volcano: Day three The Summit

We wakened at 12:30 am, ate breakfast and ready for our summit hike 6,075m (19,931ft). One in every of our staff members selected to not hike. It was darkish and chilly, and we solely took what we wanted in our backpacks. This time as we hiked, we saved a decent line figuration.

There was a information main the hike on the entrance and the primary information of the expedition, Julver Eguiluz supported the entire staff. As we began our ascent, a staff member, Alvaro Mestanza acquired altitude illness. He tried to proceed climbing, however had to return down. He made it to five,150m.

As our staff went from 7 to three, a shift occurred within the silence. I felt a newfound motivation to achieve summit that had nothing to do anymore with my private targets.

Then, Dania Habib, who had organized the expedition and was 15 weeks pregnant, rotated together with her husband, JJ Ciccia, a triathlon athlete, and started to descend. That left solely three of us on the staff. All of us stopped and watched as Dania and JJ acquired smaller and smaller. Nobody mentioned something.

As our staff went from 7 to three, a shift occurred within the silence. I felt a newfound motivation to achieve summit that had nothing to do anymore with my private targets. We had been now climbing for Dania and for the group to realize the world's highest altitude yoga class.

We continued on, one breath and one step at a time. It was freezing chilly and I began to really feel dizzy. Fortunately, the upper we ascended the extra we took breaks. As mild started to appear on the horizon, it invigorated the staff to proceed on.

Then we noticed the summit and completed our ultimate ascent. It’s troublesome to place into phrases the sensation of reaching the summit. I used to be overcome with emotion and gratitude.

 Yoga Chachani Mountain 6 "width =" 730 "top =" 500 "class =" aligncenter size-full wp-image-99036 "/> </p>
<p> After ensuring Dania was secure at camp, JJ ran again in simply over an hour and a half in order that he may very well be part of the yoga class and assist his rising household. </p>
<p> <img src=

 Yoga Chachani Mountain 9 "width =" 730 "top =" 500 "class =" aligncenter size-full wp-image-99039 "/> </p>
<p class=

 Yoga Chachani Mountain 10 "width =" 730 "top =" 500 "class =" size-full wp-image-99040 "/> 

<p id= Yoga class practitioners: JJ Ciccia, Isme Galavis, Alfredo Yong, Cathy Madeo , Julver Eguiluz

We Accomplished The World's Highest Altitude Yoga Class Ever On The High Of The Chachani Volcano !!

I achieved my private purpose of going to Peru, which was to search out ease with discomfort. But, it took a backseat to the upper function of the hike.

Our yoga follow can typically really feel solitary, an inward journey to the Self. The expertise of climbing Chachani with a staff jogged my memory that we will solely see the Self mirrored again in others.

I walked away from the expertise feeling that the group collective is highly effective and raises the expertise of Self. And that when you might need your personal private causes for doing issues, once we let go of the ego, extra significant causes emerge.

zero —— zero ————— January 10, 2020

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