WHY OUR POSTURE MATTERS, and how this affects ourselves, and our horses, every time we move.........
I'm studying again! this time its all about optimal movement. Specifically, I'm learning about the biomechanics of how we move and applying that to 'yoga for riders'.
We all love our horses deeply and want to do the best for them, so we spend time and money on our horses for the right saddle, the right trainer, the right farrier and perhaps even Chiropractors and Physiotherapists and the list goes on ........ it's an expensive passion, but I didn't need to tell you that. However, I might need to remind you, we don't spend enough time looking at ourselves.
Most of us don't usually like to look at pictures of ourselves but this is really important, for you and your horse. This self analysis might be the most cost effective part of the whole jigsaw of your horses way of going, and one you have never fully considered, let alone done anything about. Albeit, the fact that you are reading this means you do care and are interested in knowing more.
Where to start? I've got so much to share but I'll take one area at a time and focus on POSTURE today. Posture is possibly the most important consideration - many of us live in an 'anterior pelvic tilted' position (see pics below)
Why is this important ? because this is not the position we were designed to be in eg it is not aligned for optimal movement. We can manage for a while, in this misaligned way, but over time the compensations that the body makes will cause undue wear and tear in many other areas and you guessed it ........ the horse will feel it repeatedly and will have to compensate for us accordingly. You imagine how many times you might be repeating this misaligned posture on top of your horse, just in one ride.
So, what does this really mean and what can you do? firstly being aware of your own natural posture is the beginning. Then its important to know that many parts of our body can help keep the pelvis in neutral, the most important one of them is your CORE.
We need our core to be active when we stand, let alone when we ride. You can see in the picture your core will find it much harder to work well in an anterior pelvic tilt. By the way, when I say core, I really mean everything between your shoulders and your pelvis. In the image above the effect of this misaligned pelvic posture is seen in the shoulders, ribs, spine, pelvis, hip flexors and probably also right down to the knees and even ankles. Hard to believe how important posture is and thats why I wanted you to know so that you can start addressing it right now.
I hear many of you say "I have injuries from riding and therefore my posture is already compromised" even more important then to focus on strengthening your core to help your posture. Its like magic, and you, and your horse, will really reap the benefits on and off your horse.
Private/semi private 'yoga for rider' classes will now have a postural assessment, which will give you a starting point of knowledge about your natural posture. All classes will work on achieving a neutral pelvis and work hard at strengthening your core (remember this is shoulders down to pelvis) this being the foundation of everything! There is so much more to share but this will do for starters.
Hope you found this interesting and fun at the same time. If you have questions or comments just drop me a message, I'd be so happy to hear from you. I love talking endlessly about horses and yoga, as you know.
See you on a mat, or a horse, some time soon,
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