The benefits of practicing yoga on horseback are endless.
A yogi’s goal is to quiet the mind. Once “eyes up, heels down, hands quiet” becomes second nature, we riders should aim to quiet our minds as well. My journey to finding peace began with horses, and it continues with my yoga practice—both on the mat and on horseback. I began practicing yoga on horseback out of curiosity. My passion for both yoga and horses fueled a question in my mind: what would happen if I combined the two?
Putting Ego Aside
Horses and yoga taught me to put my ego aside and listen to a deeper wisdom, which means accepting my body as it is each time I practice on my mat. If my balance is a little off or tension is present in certain muscles, I accept it and do my yoga to the best of my ability. A yoga practice includes not just the asanas (physical poses), but also pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation. When I find myself struggling during pranayama or meditation, I remember that accepting my breath and mind as they are, is a better way to find peace than fighting against all the thoughts buzzing around in my brain. When I’m riding or practicing yoga on my horse, I also work towards that same calm, quiet place within. And when I find it, my horse can tell. He relaxes and softens instantly.
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