Yoga On Horseback- Stay Flexiable At Any Age
Feeling a little stiff in the saddle, pain, fatigue or tension when you ride, well maybe the answer to that is trying Yoga. I know what your thinking Yoga and horseback riding please, but more and more people are turning to Yoga to help keep them stay flexiable, increase their endurance and improve their over all riding.
According to WebMD , yoga safely stretches muscles, releasing lactic acid which causes stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue as well as increasing range of motion in joints and possibly lubricating the joints. Yoga poses can can stretch your muscles to open up shoulders and hips and increase spinal flexibility leading to increased fluidity and grace. If your experience less stiffness, pain or discomfortable those long trail rides, western pleasure classes, or any competitions will more enjoyable for you and you could have a better performance.
Yoga classes focus on movement and precise alignment of the body and require that poses be held for relatively long periods of time. When holding a pose you build strenght. Some poses require use of arm and shoulder muscles, some demand more of the legs, quadriceps and hamstrings, while almost all yoga poses require use of the "core" muscles. When your strength increased it makes everything easier and requiring less effort. Saddling your horse, mounting without a block, cantering or trotting for long periods all become easier and more injoyable. With increased strength, particularly in the "core," comes better posture and therefore better balance. Having better balance, aside from the obvious of keeping you in the saddle instead of on the ground, allows better control of your horse.
Yoga teachs to Calm Breath and Quiet Mind which will help you feel stress wether it’s pre-show jitters or trail riding jitters. Transmitting nervous to your horse can only make matters worse for horse and rider. Yoga teaches you to observe, deepen, and control your breathing. The amazing thing is that while normally you might breathe shallowly and quickly if you are stressed or anxious, yoga teaches you that if you have the concentration and control to breathe deeply and calmly, you make your body believe and behave as if you are calm and serene and pretty soon, you are calm and serene. Control the breath, control the body through yoga. Control the breath and you can engage in your sport of choice with a clear, quiet mind free of distractions that detract from performance and enjoyment. Control the breath with yoga and learn to have that trail ride without unnecessary stress and actually enjoy the journey. Free your mind to compete at the horse show and concentrate fully on the task at hand. Deep breathing also will actually make more oxygen available to all muscles, once again reducing fatigue and increasing endurance. If you seek to be more flexible, be stronger, have better balance and endurance, improve core power, and have a calm, centered mind, try yoga. These qualities will improve your life in general and likely will make you a better rider with more control and confidence in yourself and make your rides more comfortable and enjoyable for your and your horse. Yoga for better horseback riding? Yes! Find a yoga class near you or attend a weekend or week-long retreat to fully immerse in the experience. You and your horse will be glad you did. Namaste (commonly said at the end of yoga practice, it means 'the light in me honors the light in you').