5 Yoga Poses To Improve Your Dressage

Yoga is an incredibly under utilized form of training for dressage riders and I would love to see that change. You see yoga has the ability to make you feel centered, balanced and more energized. It improves your posture and evens out any imbalances throughout your body. Just as we want our horses to be balanced, centered and energized it makes sense that as a rider we to should be aiming to feel the same. After all how the horse feels is a replication of how the rider feels.


Here are 5 yoga poses to help improve your riding.


Dolphin Pose And Its Benefits

Overall – Great for strengthen your shoulder girdle and all the muscles of your upper back. 

  • Also helps calms the mind and bring in focus.
  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and arches of your feet
  • Strengthens the arms, shoulders, upper back and legs


Start by coming into a plank with wrists under shoulders and legs extended straight back. Keeping your hands in place, shift your hips up and back into down dog.

Now keeping your hips up, drop down onto your elbows.  Relax head and draw shoulders away from the ears. Press chest toward thighs and think of pushing heels down to the ground.

Hold for 10 deep breaths.


Warrior II And Its Benefits

Overall – Great for opening up your hips, strengthening your legs and learning to relax your shoulders and breathe.

  • Also strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
  • Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders
  • Relieves backaches, especially through the lower back


Stand with feet about 2 shoulder widths apart. Turn right toes out and left toes as much inwards as you can. Bend your right knee to make your thigh parallel with the ground and push down into your left heel making your left leg strong and straight.  Bring your arms up to shoulder height and look down over your right finger tips. Brace your core and relax your shoulders.

Hold for 10 deep breaths each side.


Triangle Pose And Its Benefits

Overall – Fantastic for lengthening your ITBs and lower back.   Plus a great strengthening exercise for your core as well as your legs.

  • Also stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion


Stand with feet around 2 shoulder widths apart. Turn right toes out and left toes as far inwards as you can.  Keeping both legs straight, hinge at your hips toward the right leg. Think of lengthening your spine and keeping your back long and straight. Place right hand above or below the knee and extend left arm above shoulder. Look up if its okay on your neck or down to your toes.

Hold for 10 deep breaths each side.


Warrior III And Its Benefits

Overall – Fantastic for strengthening your glutes as well as your stabilizer muscles that support your spine and hips.

  • Strengthens the ankles and legs
  • Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back
  • Tones the abdomen and improves core strength and stability.
  • Improves balance and posture


Step into a lunge position with right foot forward and left foot back. Hinge forward at your hips and bring torso towards the floor. At the same time, lift leg up to hip-height, forming a straight line from the crown of your head to your toes.
Bring your hands  to your heart center, brace your core and gaze down.

Hold for 10 deep breaths each side.


Pigeon And Its Benefits

Overall – Great for loosening up your glutes, ITB and can help with tight lower backs. 

  • Stretch deep glutes
  • Stretch groins and psoas
  • Relieve impinged piriformis and alleviate sciatic pain


Take a seat and bring one knee out in front bent, with the other leg bent in behind you.

Tuck in your front heel to your groan and lengthen your back leg so it becomes straight.

Fall forward over right shin and rest hands or forehead on the mat.

Hold for 10 deep breaths each side.


If you are looking for a simple place to start with improving your riding strength, balance and posture I would start with some yoga. This yoga doesn’t have to take up hours in fact you can begin with just a 10 minute routine a few times doing these exercises above. Im sure by putting in the effort you will notice the effects this has on your posture and your riding.

For access to full HD video yoga routines to help with your riding check out our dressage rider training program. Yoga, core and HIIT workouts that you can do in your living room to take your riding up to a whole new level. You don’t even have to leave your living room. Learn more here



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