Want to Learn Horse Yoga?
Yoga offers many amazing benefits for athletes, both human and equine! Angela Nunez is a registered yoga teacher and the founder of Solaris Stable & Yoga Studio in Hume, VA. A lifelong equestrian, she developed Horse Yoga as a way to unite horses and humans in one practice. Horse Yoga increases the trust between horse and human and benefits the horse through massage work of the withers, back, and hindquarters. You can do horse yoga before or after your ride- there is no bad time to connect more deeply with your horse and with yourself.
Angela uses the Maxtra Bareback Pad in her practice and loves it because it distributes the rider’s weight more evenly and its material is grippier than other pads, which reduces slipping and helps the rider achieve certain poses.
If you want to give Horse Yoga a try, below are a few easy poses to get you started:
Deergha Swasam Pranayama/Three Part Breath
- Place one hand on your abdomen. Breathe slowly and evenly through your nose. Inhale the air all the way down into your belly.
- Place your other hand on your ribcage. This time as you inhale, bring the breath down into the belly and then into the lungs, feeling your ribcage expand. Exhale from your lungs and then your belly.
- Move your hand from your belly to your heart. Inhale the air into your belly, then lungs, then all the way up into your chest. Exhale from your chest, then lungs, then belly. Continue for a few breaths, inhaling from bottom to top and exhaling from top to bottom.
Virabhadrasana I/Warrior I
- As you inhale, slowly lift your arms overhead, turning the palms in toward each other. Relax the shoulders down away from the ears. Pull the bellybutton in toward the spine and lift the crown of the head towards the sky. Take three to five deep breaths.
Virabhadrasana II/Warrior II
- As you exhale, reach one arm forward and one arm back, twisting through the spine. Press your shoulder blades together. Rest your gaze over your front fingertips and keep lifting through the crown of the head. Keep the core engaged and be sure not to overarch the lower back. Hold for three to five deep breaths.
- From a seated pose, lie back onto your horse’s hindquarters and allow your arms to rest out to the sides. Allow your entire body to relax and be supported by your horse. Match your breath to your horse’s and relax in Savasana for two to five minutes.
Which pose was your favorite? We’d love for you to share a photo of you and your horse doing yoga on our Facebook page and feel free to ask comment below. Neighmaste!