After spending a whole day riding and taking care of your horse, all you need is to relax knowing that your horse is well. Probably, you won’t even take a minute to stretch your body. The truth is, as equestrians we love our horses too much that we forget about our health. And that is why most horse riders will pull their hamstrings, hurt their hips or get accidental injuries when they fall off their horse. One thing we forget is that riding a horse is just like any other sport that requires strength, flexibility and most importantly, concentration.
Clearly, there are many exercises you can always perform depending on your preference. However, when you are always tired after riding and taking care of your horse, you will need a workout routine that won’t require much of your energy and time. And that is where yoga comes in. Yoga will help you achieve balance, alignment, fluidity and body symmetrical making it easy for you to ride your horse and even perform stunts with limited risks.
So, what are the best Yoga Exercises for Equestrians?
1. Bound Angle Pose
This pose will help stretch your groin, inner thighs as well as knees.
To perform this pose, bring your feet’s soles close to each other and widen your knees to the outside. Try to bring your feet’s soles close to you as possible and let your knees drop to your sides. With both your hands hold your big toes to the ground to achieve some stability. At this position, try bringing your chest towards the floor and your head towards your toes. Once you’ve reached your limit, maintain the pose for about three to five minutes then release.
2. Cat-Cow Pose
This pose will help improve the suppleness and flexibility of your spinal cord. It will also open your shoulders and chest. Lastly, it will enhance your breathing.
To perform the Cat-Cow pose, begin on all fours. Ensure that your elbows, wrists, and shoulders are in one line under your hips. As you breathe out, squeeze your abs and curve your spine outside and towards the ceiling. While breathing in, raise your head up and curve your spine inside and towards the ground. Repeat this steps for approximately, 8 to 10 breaths.
3. Tree pose
Tree pose is one of the yoga poses that will improve your posture, focus as well as balance. It helps increase the flexibility in your hip joints, ankles as well as knee for better horse riding.
Stand with your arms along your torso and with your feet close to each other. Lift your right foot slowly and rest it as high as possible on your left thigh. Keeping your spinal cord lengthened, hold your right foot using your left hand. You can then bring your right hand towards the center of your chest with your fingers facing up as if you want to pray. Without removing your right foot from your left thigh, bring your left palm to meet your right palm in the middle of your chest. Hold for 60 seconds and then release.
4. Camel pose
This pose will improve your balance as well as focus. Also, it will improve your spine’s flexibility, stretch your legs, back as well as shoulders.
To perform camel pose, kneel upright and widen your knees hip-width apart. With your buttocks relaxed, flatten both your feet and shin on the floor. Place your hands on your pelvis then lean back and then tuck your chin towards your chest. Ensure that your thighs form a right angle with the floor. Lean back slightly to touch your heels. Lastly, bend your head backward as much as you can and hold the pose for 40 to 60 seconds.
This list has covered the four most important exercises every equestrian should do. You can learn more at yoga for beginners online. They are easy. They don’t require much of your time and can be performed anywhere with much ease. These four exercises are designed to help you achieve flexibility, strength, focus and balance that will help prevent unnecessary injuries and make your horse riding fun. So, create some workout routine, find time, especially in the evening hours and perform these exercises as instructed. Lastly, make sure you do them regularly to maintain your fitness.