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Heart. Healing. Horses

Why Practice Yoga with Horses?

Posted on 11/13/2012 by Kerry MA, LPC in yoga
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Yoga on a horseā€”it's difficult for most to imagine. Is it Tree Pose on the back of a horse? Warrior I? Although I'd love to be able to do that one day, that's not what yoga with horses is about.

The word yoga means union—union of body, mind, and spirit. This is why we go to our mat. Practicing yoga on a horse adds another dimension, and that is unification with another.

This is the beauty, the key, to practicing yoga on a horse. It allows us to be in relationship, not only with our Self, but also with another living being. Our need to make connections is an essential component of being human. Yoga on the horse enables us to experience how we participate in relationship, how we make and break contact and connection. Our equine partners act as a mirror, reflecting us back to ourselves. We can see quite clearly who we truly are and, in that, whom we truly want to become.

Technology and the complexity of contemporary life make it easy to stay disconnected—from our true nature, from the natural world, from our feelings and intuition. Rather than make "true" contact with our Self and those around us, we distract ourselves with TV, Facebook, Twitter, work, the latest upgrade. How often do we slow down enough to notice the sun warming our face, the wind howling through the trees, the smells of nature wafting through the air?

This is what naturally occurs when we enter the world of yoga with horses. Horse person, yoga person, or neither—this practice offers us the opportunity to slow down, increase awareness, and reconnect with our Self, the horse, nature, and something greater. Robin_and_AurisIt's a time devoted to communing with nature, centering and grounding, and physically expressing our innate goodness and greatness from the inside out. It's a time to reunite polarities, find balance in all aspects of our life, relieve physical and emotional pain, and feel revitalized and nourished. We can then take what we learned on the horse out into our real world. Far beyond a mere physical exercise, practicing yoga with a horse goes straight to our heart and soul, opening the one while enhancing our appreciation of the other.

"With yoga, no matter what crisis may appear to be insurmountable in the changing world around you, you will hold to the peaceful center that always is and always has been."

— Rama Jyoto Vemon