Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In the Arena #66 - Don't forget to breathe...

Happy day - the weather man was oh-so-wrong. After digging up numerous pampas grasses, transplanting numerous pampas grasses, spreading multiple stinky bags of fertilizer, and mowing several yards, (good lord I am tired!) it was riding time.

I did an experiment today. I practiced ujjayi breathing for my entire warm-up. Ujjayi translates to "loud" in sanskrit, and is sometimes called the "ocean breath". Basically you control the flow of breath across the back of your throat, while using your diaphram and filling your lungs top to bottom.

I maintained the breathing meditation way longer than I have ever done in a yoga class. I breathed in rhythm with Val's movement and he l-o-v-e-d it. He was snorting and blowing from the get-go. My seat was super relaxed. No geography issues and minimal sticky turns. Way funner than our last ride.

I can't tell you why this is for sure, but sadly, I have neglected my yoga practice, pretty much since Val arrived. The only class available conflicts with my horse feeding / dog walking schedule. And I have not made time or devoted energy to create a practice at home. There are really no excuses - and I'm not making any. Just wondering out loud why, and hoping that fessing up here on my blog will start the ball rolling. I am a much better rider when I practice yoga. I am peaceful, patient, calmer, fitter and happier. I need yoga. (Val sez - you ain't kidding!) :)

11 comments:

Shannon said...

I love yoga, as you know. It is such a boon to my overall well being.

Even just practicing the breathing techniques while riding is a start to getting back into your practice. Now that you've said it out loud I'm sure you'll do it!

It seems this is the month for "no excuses"!

Nancy Speisser said...

Namaste - Nancy & Lad

Carol said...

Val's reaction is very interesting. SOunds like a really great ride. Good for you guys.

Annette said...

Jackson always responds well when I practice yoga on horseback. The breathing makes such a difference. I was a yoga nut for three or four years and then stopped. No reason. No excuses. I just got back into a regular practice in January. It makes such a difference...

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds great, whenever I'm tense I try to do some deep breathing and it does help.

No excuses here either except that I don't have enough hours in the day to get it all done. I would love to do some yoga and will eventually...

juliette said...

I definitely think yoga and riding are a good match. The breathing, the calmness, the flexibility! I hope you feel inspired to get back to it. Where does the time go? I can fit in a run most days, but I have no idea where yoga would fit in. Good luck with starting again!

Niamh said...

Much like counting the rhythm of foot falls as your riding for steadiness and tempo, control of your breathing is also really crucial. I am terrible at simply remembering to breathe, so it's good for me to find a point of focus for that while I ride!

billie said...

My good friend who helped me come back to riding after 20-odd years off said "breathe" to me so many times it became a joke. Over the years it has become clear to me that taking a breath is the answer to almost everything that gets sticky in the saddle.

baystatebrumby said...

I think there are a few practitioners who have a yoga class specifically for horseback riders. It is true that yoga can only help riding, being so much about breath. I do youga regularly and still manage to forget to breathe all the time! What a goof.

jill said...

Yoga and riding go hand in hand. I yoga everyweek, love it. When jumping I try to remember to exhale as we go over the jump. It just works. Also before transistions.

Máire said...

I have come here from Camera-Obscura. I really like this post. I must try this for myself. Like you, I have neglected my yoga lately and feel the lack of it.

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