Yoga + Horses

Time continues to feel like it just slips through my fingers. In 2 short weeks, we had our Labor Day weekend retreat, celebrated husband’s and my 10 year wedding anniversary, enjoyed r&r time with visiting DC friends, and are celebrating husband’s birthday today. Oh and my daughter started kindergarten, and we’re gearing up for our last Cowgirl Yoga retreat of the season, the LUXE edition, this weekend. I could so easily be in a tizzy with all this going on, but what’s kept me grounded has been yoga and horses. The essence of Cowgirl Yoga.

I could find a lot of other things I need to do besides get on my mat. I could make lots of excuses. Sometimes, I do. But not only do I feel better after I practice, everything else around me benefits. I can approach challenges with more perspective and patience, and I’m kinder and gentler to people (particularly my five year old, whose specialty right now is testing patience).

The similar effects of a yoga practice and being around horses never ceases to amaze me. I can feel things start to shift before I even arrive at the barn or ranch – the anticipation is like before you are going to see someone you love. Kind of a cross between strong, familiar love that runs deep, and the butterflies-in-your-tummy feeling of new love. I just see my horse and my blood pressure drops. I touch him and I start to breathe deeper. And when I ride, well, I can practically see all the stuff I’m carrying around that isn’t serving me whoosh out with my exhales. It’s no surprise that there is an entire field dedicated to horse therapy.

I recognize how lucky I am to have yoga and horses in my life. The former is pretty available to everyone, the latter, not as much. But I believe there are many ways to connect to the natural world that produce similar effects, and complement those found through yoga. It can be as simple as reminding yourself to go outside, and have nothing between you and the sky above. Yeehaw & Namaste.