One of the most important qualities in canyoning is to be present in the moment. Here and now. Without mindfulness one cannot achieve a higher standard practicing this amazing sport.
How to make connection with the all mighty field while canyoning:
Eyes: Paying attention to all details surrounding you in a canyon, the trees, the water, your fellow canyoners, the colors of the ropes, the knots, the wetsuits, the canyon backpacks, the shoes, the fallen leaves, some insects, frogs and the formation of the rocks is fulfilling your first sense.
Ears: Paying attention to all auditory stimuli, all sounds of nature, the birds, the cascades, the wind blowing in the branches of the trees, the whistles of your friends abseiling, the clicking sounds of your metal gears connect you to your second sense.
Nose: Paying attention to the smells of the environment, the funny smell of your neoprene suit, the sudden cigarette smoke of a fellow canyoner smoking while waiting to get on the rope, the smell of shampoo of the person helping you to descend is marking your third sense.
Touch: Paying attention to the feeling of your gloves – or if you don’t wear gloves – the feeling of the rope, the metal entity of your gear, the elasticity of your shoes, the warmth of your suit, the air breeze of the canyon connect you to your fourth sense.
Mouth: Paying attention to the taste of the water drops while abseiling, or the water you drink while hydrating yourself, your lunch, a nutritional bar, a piece of chocolate is awakening your fifth sense.
Your inner thoughts: Being present in the moment connects you to your thoughts popping up constantly to help you move on and be safe with your descent, protecting yourself and your friends, guiding you to take the right decisions to proceed and succeed. The past and the future, problems of everyday living, your boss, your loan, the kids – who knows what else is bothering you – can become distant and totally un-important while canyoning.
Your inner feelings: Being present in the moment connects you to your feelings of joy, anticipation, effort to succeed, your inner fears of the descent, happiness, love, support to your friends, fullfillment at the exit of the canyon and many more. For experienced canyoners and especially for group leaders and professional guides can be pretty challenging to practice mindfulness while leading a group of people of various levels and technical knowledge through a canyon. However, there are countless opportunities to enjoy and practice being in the moment, as long as one would like to, even for a couple of minutes at a safe spot.