some Background about me
Fun fact about me, I received my RYT200 (200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher training) in 2013. That means that I am a certified yoga teacher. Before I received my RYT200 I had practiced yoga for about 6 years.
After teacher training, I taught classes at yoga studios and privately for about 5 years, primarily vinyasa and yin styles, before I took a break to start homeschooling my children. But I have continued my own personal yoga practice, along with teaching and consulting friends who reach out to me with questions about the benefits of yoga or how to get started.
I grew up riding and showing horses since I could walk, mostly western pleasure and later cutting. I can say, without a doubt, that yoga made me a better rider in many ways.
why equestrians should do yoga
I am a firm believer that yoga is for everyone, but is especially beneficial to horseback riders. Any exercises that increase our flexibility, focus, strength, and balance is not only great for our bodies but also comforting to our horses. Yoga aids in core strength and brings awareness to our body and mind.
It will help our physical body by improving any imbalance we may feel while riding. And it will also improve our mindset and control our nerves while improving our mental focus while riding and competing.
Did you know that there are many similarities to yoga and horseback riding? Yoga actually promotes the same posture as riding! In each and every yoga class I have ever taught I continually remind students to elongate their spine and to engage their core muscles. I have often used the phrase, "reach the crown of your head long," and have even used the analogy, "imagine a piece of string drawing you from the crown of your head to the sky". Aside from our legs, what other major muscles in our bodies do we use 100% of the time? Our core! Our core muscles are constantly working and helping us to find the correct balance in the saddle. Yoga and riding mirror each other so well, making yoga the perfect complimentary ground work practice.
How we feel both mentally and physically has a direct correlation to how we ride and how we treat our horses. When we feel our best we enjoy our time in and out of the saddle so much more. This year I will be writing a short series of blog posts related to yoga for Equestrians. My hope is that you will find this helpful in incorporating a yoga practice into your equestrian lifestyle.
Next Yoga Blog post: Balancing Poses for Equestrians