Recommended Reading

Yoga, Horses, Nature, & More

Life-Long Learners Unite

One thing yoga teaches us is that we’re all learning — all the time. We’re always getting better, getting smarter, and getting wiser. As you look forward to your retreat (or think about booking one!), we encourage you to browse some of our favorite books, articles, and websites. Whether you’re interested in yoga, horses, Montana — or all three — you’re in the right place.

About Montana

Distinctly Montana Website

Distinctly Montana is “Montana’s Leading Lifestyle Magazine.” The magazine’s goal is to seamlessly blend the editorial and advertising content with the essence of this special place. Their print issue is distributed 100% only IN Montana, available to 1 million savvy residents and 11 million wannabee visitors.

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Visit Montana Website

Browse the official website for the Montana Office of Tourism. Just don’t be surprised if you buy a plane ticket shortly thereafter… the photos are that good.

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Travel Montana Website

Here you’ll find all the resources you need to plan your next vacation to or through the beautiful state of Montana. Whether you already live in the state and want to go explore another part, or if you live in another state and want to visit Montana, this Montana website will be an invaluable resource to help you get all the information you need.

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Explore Big Sky Website

This site has it all: landscapes, portraits, action sports, music, events, etc. You’ll find the beauty of Montana on every page. Plus, we can attest it actually is that beautiful in person. Come see for yourself!

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Big Sky Journal

Big Sky Journal is a high-end, general interest magazine that captures the full range of culture and lifestyle in the Northern Rockies. Like the region the magazine showcases, Big Sky Journal is a publication of juxtaposition: small towns with big ideas, changing communities with old-fashioned values, low-key lives with high-speed Internet.

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Outside Bozeman Website

Welcome to outsidebozeman.com, southwest Montana’s outdoor resource. Articles, maps, gear reviews, events, photo galleries… if it’s outdoors and southwest Montana, it’s in here. Not to mention every back issue of Outside Bozeman is at your fingertips – you can search the site by topic, view articles by specific authors, or scroll through each issue article by article.

Can’t find a good spot to go backcountry skiing? Need the best times to visit Yellowstone Park? Looking to get started in a new outdoor sport? Whatever you want to know about the Bozeman area’s outdoor activities, lifestyle, wildlife, amenities, and culture… it’s all right here.

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Montana Mint Website

The Montana Mint has a simple mission: Bring the best of Montana to the Internet.

They do this by sharing lots of original content, gorgeous photos, and engaging stories. And they highlight Montana businesses and Montana made products (like their BEER shirt).  Simply put: They encourage Montana’s creative side.

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Only in Bozeman Website

Your Guide To Bozeman, Montana and the Surrounding Area.

This website offers a variety of content to help you plan your visit to Bozeman and the Yellowstone area. Get inspired to hit the slopes, cast your fly rod, or just take a stroll down Main Street. There are a lot of reasons to love Bozeman and we want to share them all with you.

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About Yoga

Athleta Chi Blog: Chaturanga Dos and Don'ts

‘I’ve become slightly obsessed with chaturanga over the years – and not just for what it can do for me. I feel obligated to trouble-shoot everyone’s chaturanga pose on the yoga retreats I lead, for the simple reason that if you are doing it wrong, you are cheating yourself of one of yoga’s best gifts (not to mention probably setting yourself up for injury. Rotator cuff issue? Blame a bad chaturanga pose)…”

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2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses

“The most complete collection of yoga asanas ever photographed, and the first ever to categorize an astonishing 2,100 yoga poses. This beautifully designed book is a must-have for yogis of all levels and every practice.”

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Do Your Om Thing: Bending Yoga Tradition to Fit Your Modern Life

“Yoga, meet life. Sometimes an hour-long yoga class is the only chance we get to connect meaningfully with our bodies and our minds during a week otherwise full of work, family, and the daily grind. Have you ever wondered how would it feel to bring that experience of awareness and calm out of the yoga studio and into your everyday life? After all, we know that practicing yoga can give us a leaner body and more sculpted limbs, but isn’t its most important benefit the way it makes us feel?”

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Yoga At Home: Inspiration for Creating Your Own Home Practice

“The definitive guide to creating your own home yoga practice from the leading experts of Yoga Journal. Although yoga studios continue to proliferate, students are increasingly looking to enhance their studio experience with a personal home practice. Yoga at Home not only provides all the ingredients necessary, but this accessible how-to book also offers a visual feast of pose sequences and routines by top instructors and practitioners as photographed in their own homes.”

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Going Om: Real-Life Stories On and Off the Yoga Mat

“Unlike books on yoga that provide instruction on technique, Going Om is a unique collection of personal narratives from celebrated authors. This anthology of original material values the quality of writing over the authors’ flexibility. Ira Sukrungruang shares his heartbreaking struggle as a 375-pound yoga student discovering self-worth on his mat; Gloria Munoz explores the practice of stillness with lyrical elegance in the midst of her busy mind; Neal Pollack’s signature sarcasm leads to surprising turns at yoga class with his dad; Elizabeth Kadetsky uses yogic wisdom while coping with her mother’s devastating Alzheimer’s.”

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Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul

“Creators of the extremely popular Jivamukti Yoga method and cofounders of the New York City studios where it is taught, Sharon Gannon and David Life present their unique style of yoga for the first time in book form. As they explain their intensely physical and spiritual system of flowing postures, they provide inspiring expert instruction to guide you in your practice.”

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Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual

“This is the most user-friendly yoga book available! It contains the entire Primary and Intermediate series of Ashtanga Yoga with three options for every asana. It is spiral bound to easily remain open while practicing. It contains over 650 photos with clear instructions and commentary. It is a great book for all levels of practitioners to enjoy and teachers will find it to be an invaluable tool for teaching their students.”

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About Horses

The Tao of Equus

In The Tao of Equus, author Linda Kohanov intertwines the story of how she awakened to the spiritual presence of horses with compelling mythology, research, and personal anecdotes. The result is an extraordinary story of healing and communication that turns our conventional understanding of these amazing creatures upside down.

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How to Think Like a Horse

Horse trainer and instructor Cherry Hill believes that every human/horse relationship benefits from a greater human understanding of what motivates horses, how they experience the world, what makes them happy, and what worries them. Journey through the equine mind with Hill as she explores what makes a horse tick.

How do his basic needs dictate his behavior and mood? What touches and tastes appeal to his senses? How does his “flight or fight” instinct dictate his response to sudden movements? If horses are treated respectfully with methods they understand, everyone involved — animal and human — will be happier, safer, and more productive.

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She Flies Without Wings

From a renowned horsewoman and gifted storyteller comes this groundbreaking book that explores a powerful relationship like no other: the magical kinship between women and horses.

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Chosen by a Horse

The horse Susan Richards chose for rescue wouldn’t be corralled into her waiting trailer. Instead Lay Me Down, a former racehorse with a foal close on her heels, walked right up that ramp and into Susan’s life. This gentle creature—malnourished, plagued by pneumonia and an eye infection—had endured a rough road, but somehow her heart was still open and generous. It seemed fated that she would come into Susan’s paddock and teach her how to embrace the joys of life despite the dangers of living.

An elegant and often heartbreaking tale filled with animal characters as complicated and lively as their human counterparts, this is an inspiring story of courage and hope and the ways in which all love—even an animal’s—has the power to heal.

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The Horse: The Epic History of our Noble Companion

“Horses have a story to tell, one of resilience, sociability, and intelligence, and of partnership with human beings.” In The Horse, the journalist and equestrienne Wendy Williams brings that story brilliantly to life.

Williams chronicles the 56-million-year journey of horses as she visits with experts around the world, exploring what our biological affinities and differences can tell us about the bond between horses and humans, and what our longtime companion might think and feel. Indeed, recent scientific breakthroughs regarding the social and cognitive capacities of the horse and its ability to adapt to changing ecosystems indicate that this animal is a major evolutionary triumph.”

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The Horse

“We are all fascinated by horses whether it is their speed, beauty, strength, or just the joy of riding them, they remain one of nature’s most fascinating creatures. This book is a horse lover’s dream, filled with over 100 gorgeous full color photographs of horses of all breeds and colors, from ponies to colts in the natural world which horse lovers of all ages will spend hours looking at. Beyond the photos, there is also plenty of information on horses, and even the spiritual nature of horses and their place in history, folklore, myths, and legends. The book features more than 100 full color photographs. It also includes both a detailed index and full glossary of horse-related terms and information.”

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Equus

“No animal has captured the human imagination quite like the horse, depicted in media from cave drawings thousands of years ago through countless renderings in paint, clay, ink, even film. Award-winning photographer Tim Flach’s quest to document the horse has resulted in Equus, an intensely moving look at an animal—as solitary subject and en masse, from the air and from underwater—whose history is so powerfully linked to our own.”

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About Yoga & Horses

Athleta Chi Blog: Breath. Feel. Trust. Giddy Up.

“There are many similarities between practicing yoga and riding a horse, which is how Cowgirl Yoga, a merging of horses and yoga, came about. Despite the similarities, there is one very, very big difference between yoga and riding: when you practice yoga you are on your mat, an inanimate object; when you ride a horse, you are on a living being that possesses its own feelings, intuition and instinct. Most of the time you can be pretty sure your mat is not going to fly out from under you — this doesn’t necessarily hold true for the horse.”

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We Said Go Travel: Yeehaw & Namaste, Adventure and Peace in the American West

Read Nicole Ross’s account of her first trip to Montana (and first of many Big Sky Yoga Retreats) in this personal essay for We Said Go Travel. Spoiler Alert: She’s now a Montana resident and Ranch Hand for Big Sky Yoga Retreats, so it was a great trip!

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ATHLETA CHI BLOG: 5 POSES FOR RIDERS

“The thing I like most about these yoga poses is that they help stretch and strengthen the muscles affected by riding in different ways – depending on when you do them. If you use them as a warm up before riding, you’ll get your muscles limbered-up and ready to engage. If you try them after, they’ll help stretch out tight spots and prevent soreness. Here are my favorite poses for riders of any discipline (not just Western)…”

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ATHLETA CHI BLOG: 5 POSES FOR RIDERS PART II

“The following Cowgirl Yoga practice is intended to be done prior to your ride, particularly if you are going to spend a longer period of time in the saddle. It addresses typical problem areas that can cause discomfort while riding: hips, shoulders, and low back (sorry, there isn’t much we can do about your butt). You can make the practice shorter if you need to by choosing 2-3 poses from each category, but the entire sequence is designed to take only 10-15 minutes…”

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Elephant Journal Blog: Giddy Up Little Yogi – How Horses & Yoga Bring Us Peace

“Horses and yoga—childhood fantasy meets adult therapy session? It turns out that yoga and horses have a lot more in common than one might think. It’s clear that riding, or just being with horses and practicing yoga are sources of great pleasure and inspiration for many. It’s also becoming more apparent to a growing number of people that these two gifts can help us look within; calming the mind, focusing more on the present moment, and flourishing in our community. Three reasons we should all mount up and say Om…”

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Yoga Flow Blog: Yoga & Horses – Helping Us Become Whole

“I thought a good kickoff to my blogging escapades would be to write about two of my favorite things: yoga and horses. These two subjects whirl around in my mind just about all times of the day…and for good reason. My business partner, Carrie, and I run a business (Equisol) that features holistic horseback riding vacations in Nosara, Costa Rica. Our goal with Equisol is to create retreats that go beyond simple trail riding to viewing horses and yoga as ways to help us look within to find contentment in our lives and reconnect with our soul and nature. Between managing Equisol, teaching and practicing yoga, and riding my amazing horse – Frisco – most days I find myself deep in thought about the connection between these two guiding lights in my life.”

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Start Your Next Chapter

Books have the power to transport us to new places. Words have the power to change how we think and see the world. Travel has the power to do both. #justbookit