Friday, December 31, 2010


This year instead of making New Year's resolutions or goals, I am picking a word to live by.  Last night during yoga class it came to me: Breathe.

Yes, yoga class.  I haven't been to class in two years and I'm really not sure why I stopped.  I was pretty hard core, devoted, three-times-a-week-addicted for about four years.  I needed it to ride my Friesian; his huge gaits required way more flexibility, balance and core strength than I had from just doing barn chores.    So, I want to start regular yoga practice again, I want to breathe into all my tight joints.  I want to breathe into tree pose - which I NEVER mastered.  You would think standing on one foot could be easily accomplished but I seem to have completely lost my sense of balance.  Now that I've passed the 50 year old mark, the gimpy factor is kicking in more and more.  I'm hoping yoga will help counteract that a little.

I want to breathe effectively when I ride.  In addition to breathing calm and confidence at shows, I want to breathe into my half halts, deep into my seat, and into my legs softly draping against Jackson.  I don't think I'm breathing in this picture:

I want to breathe deeply and fill my senses with horse aroma.  Jackson smells wonderful (when he's clean).  I am going to bury my nose in his neck and inhale. 

Work is stressful (as always).  There will be lots of changes this year.  My boss (a great lady and a great boss) is retiring.  I'm kinda nervous about who our CEO will recruit for her position.  Okay, I'm a lot nervous about it.  Breathe.

I am going to breathe in home and hearth.  I will fill my lungs with clean mountain air, the aroma of herbs crushed between my fingers, roses and carnations.  In the kitchen, I will pay attention to the yeasty smell of bread in the oven, the play of spices in the saute pan, and ribs on the BBQ.

When I feel tense, distracted or annoyed I will breathe deep and find a place of acceptance and tolerance.  I will breathe in the holy and exhale the ...unholy.  Substitute whatever word comes to mind.  They all fit. 

And, lastly, I will breathe in the love of my family.  I will sigh and snuggle deeper into my husband's arms.  I will laugh with my daughter, gasping for breath and snorting like a pig.  I will breathe and release, breathe and release, my son as he continues his journey into adulthood, independence and life away from home.

And, hopefully with all that breathing, I won't hyperventilate. 


  1. It sounds like 2011 will be wonderful for you. What a difference it makes when we truly stop, relax, and breathe!

  2. Just lovely - I like your theme, both for horse work and everything else. Have a very happy New Year!

  3. Wishing you fabulous New Year, may it be a breath of fresh air :)

  4. Loved this post Annette! After reading, I find myself both relaxed and hungry :)

  5. I programmed the word breathe to pop up on my cell phone when I open it :)

    Soon after I got my horse, I too stopped my yoga practice - for no apparent reason. Not helpful to my riding, or my life.

    I will take inspiration from you Annette, and renew my practice. Here's to more yoga, and breathing, in the year 2011 :)

  6. Loved this post. Such good advice.

  7. It's amazing how we can forget to do something so essential as breathing. We'd all be a lot better off if we could just remember to do that.

    Also I must admit I hate that I must do regular exercises to just maintain my strength for riding but I am doing it. I learned the hard way that age takes muscles mass even when we are working away around the barn. Havingto rebuild what I lost is difficult and a lot more work than it would have been to just do those dumb exercises in the first place. Keep up the yoga even when you've reached your goals, you'll be glad you did. Believe me.

    Happy New Year!


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