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.
The great thing about yoga is its ability to get to all those deep muscles that we tend to neglect, while at the same time improving your straightness and opening up your hips. All of which are incredibly important for riding. The combination of length, balance and strength allow you to get more in control of your center of gravity and more balanced in the center of the horse while riding. It is when you are balanced that you are able to give subtle independent aids on the horse. Not only does yoga work on your body it also works on your mind. Its increases body awareness, focus and clarity. Then at the heart of yoga is breath.
Staying connected to your breath and mind while you take your body into challenging and uncomfortable poses. Exactly what a dressage rider needs when heading into an arena or trying out your first flying change! Being in control of your body, your horses body, the balance and impulsion while at the same time being accurate calm and centred. As you can see yoga can have some incredible benefits for dressage riders.
As riders we want our horse to calmly move through the movements with grace and ease, so it just makes sense that we put that sort of training in practice off the horse to. Dressage is about feeling, flow, balance, mindfulness and breath and dressage is very much the same when done well. So try out this short beginners yoga and start to bring some balance into your body today.
Want more yoga for dressage or more specific exercise to help improve your rider fitness and strength? Then checkout our dressage rider program. Learn more here.