Sunday, February 13, 2011

Yoga on Horseback

One of the yoga teachers at the studio where I take yoga is a marvel at explaining how to move your muscles in the different poses to get maximum benefit.  I've been thinking about her explanation of mountain pose, in particular, as it relates to riding.  I started thinking about yoga and riding after reading Shannon's blog on the subject.  Read her excellent blog here.  I especially liked her suggestion about breathing into your legs at canter to keep them from creeping up.

When I rode Jackson today, I thought about all of this.  In particular, I thought about riding in mountain pose.  This is a pose that looks easy, since it is just standing upright.  But, when done correctly, it's not so easy.  The goal is to stand perfectly straight with ears, shoulders, hips, feet lined up.  Sound familiar dressage riders?  Then, you make sure you have equal weight in the four corners of your feet (inner & outer ball of the foot, inner and outer heel).  You want your calf muscles working towards your shins; your thigh muscles spinning back, your sacrum dropped, your pelvis neutral.  And everything sinking down, rooting you to the earth.  At the same time, you reach up through your side waist, release your shoulder blades so they aren't scrunched up, open your collarbone and feel like the top of your head is reaching for the sky.  Got it?  Good.  Now, try it on your horse. 

Jackson was awesome today.  I can't help but think that it was because he had a balanced yogi on his back.  It felt awesome.


Today was warm and sunny again, around 65 degrees.   We have rain in the forecast starting Tuesday night, with a chance of snow Friday and Saturday.  Is that weird or what!!

Tonight we celebrated Valentine's Day.  We don't go out, we don't exchange gifts, we stay home and I cook something outrageously expensive and we drink champagne.   This was dinner:
Salad with pears, mango and pecans




Shrimp, crab and lobster tail. 



And WAY too many of these!!

9 comments:

  1. that meal looks absolutely amazing, good on you :) who needs to go out for dinner if you can make food like that?

    and also, you have totally inspired me to go back to the body balance classes at the gym. my previous instructor used to rave about how it helps your riding, hearing how you translated it just cleared it up a whole lot!

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  2. You explained mountain pose beautifully, much better than I could have! Thanks for the mention. I'm glad you liked it.

    That dinner looks divine! The daffodils are beautiful, too. Mine have just started to peek up from the ground, it will be a few weeks yet before they bloom. I can't wait!

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  3. It's very cool that yoga helped your ride. Talk about interdisciplinary!

    In other news, I'm moving in with you. Chocolate covered strawberries are one of my favorite things EVER.

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  4. Great, incorporating yoga and riding.

    Now, would you please quit torturing me with your flowers and spectacular meals. (We make so many of the same things....especially salads). Had to be one tasty dinner...much better than what you would get out. You two know how to enjoy life to the fullest!

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  5. I love your description of the Mountain pose--I can definitely see how it would help with riding! I need to be "rooted" more and definitely drop my shoulders.

    Your meals always look so good--I just want to reach through the screen and have a taste! :)

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  6. Yoga while riding. Very cool. Your Valentine dinner looks a-mazing. Great ride, great weather, great dinner....you had a fabulous day!

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  7. I was doing mountain pose in the shower last night, thinking about all four corners of my feet lol.

    I am way too hungry to read your blog tonight!

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.