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Student Information
Tips to help you get the most from your yoga practice.

Yoga practice is intended to encourage an inward focus and self-referral.  Whether in a class setting or using a video for your practice, the purpose of the external teacher is to help you connect to the "teacher within." Instruction and video help you learn about your body and experience it more deeply, with greater awareness, understanding, and precision - but you are the only one inside your body, the "eyes on the ground," and must be your own authority figure.  Honor your body first and foremost.  Rather than trying to emulate what you see demonstrated, respect your comfort level and respond appropriately to your body's feedback throughout the practice.  In this way, you gain the real benefits of yoga, open the way for your own deeper insights to arise, and develop greater ability to listen to and honor your horse.

 

True "yoga" is not merely a physical exercise - the word YOGA literally means "to unite."  Stemming from the root word "yoke," yoga is meant to unite or yoke together all aspects of ourselves: body, mind, and spirit in harmony... all our energies going in the same direction, all parts on board.  Isn't that what we'd like to experience in our partnership with our horses too? True unity - horse and human as one - bodies, minds, and spirits in harmony and acting in unison.

 

By listening, honoring, and appropriately responding to feedback from our bodies, we develop the ability to practice these same principles with our horses.  This opens the channels of communication with our equine partners for deeper connection, mutual understanding, and shared insights. 

That said, here are some practical tips to help you get the most from your practice of yoga postures:

 

     ~ Set yourself up in a comfortable area where distractions are minimized. 

 

     ~ Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely. 

    ~ Practice is best done on an empty stomach, or at least a few hours after a heavy meal.  If you need to eat before practice to support stable blood sugar levels, something small and light is best (a handful of nuts, piece of fruit, or tea, for example.)

 

     ~  Empty your bowels and bladder prior to practice. 

 

     ~ A chair, mounting block, firm cushion, or folded blankets can be helpful to modify seated positions or for meditation.

     ~ Many movements/postures can be modified to be done on the floor, seated, or standing, according to your comfort.  Be flexible in your mind and give yourself permission to get creative with adapting positions to suit your needs.  Your practice is meant to honor your body - it's not about being an "obedient" student, rigidly limited to robotically carrying out instructions!  Have fun, and let your body's communication guide you.

 

       

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