Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gary(horse) Yoga, Movement, Stillness, Breath

The best horse-related yoga seems to happen after teaching or taking a yoga class. Feeling good after a deep pranamaya focused class, where we chanted 'pranaha' during our warrior vinyasa and then released into supported forward bends, I went out to the barn to see what yoga play would happen today.

I ran into Kristene and Mz.B (Bianca) preparing for their ride together. Bianca very politely eyed the apple I dared to munch in front of her, and was rewarded with half the core. (Interesting turn of phrase there!) The beautiful white Bianca used to have a neck of steel, and now it flows so gracefully, easeful; it is wondrous to see, and to feel. And, Gary looooooovvvvves Bianca. K and I had yet another short insightful chat, and then they were off for their ride and I went to get Gary.

Longeing today. I have a complicated relationship with longeing horses. I love it for the perspective it gives me on where the horse is at in that moment, I like it because I get some exercise, I am ambivalent about it because I'm challenged to be easeful in my own energetic body while longeing (free longeing, so the horse is not attached to any line, nor is the horse wearing anything other than a halter). So, it's a good practice for both of us.

Today went great, Gary moving out briskly, engaging his hindquarters, a bit heavy in the front end. I opened up my own breathing, exhaling deeply to allow for the inhale to flow and Gary lightened, then dropped his head quite low, snorting and releasing. Downward transitions from trot to walk were rough, so we played with these transitions. He was still a bit rough, time for the bucking strategy - where he takes off, and does his own adjustment. Both directions, a little cross-cantering that he righted on his own, and he eased into lovely up and down self-managed transitions.

Time to do a little windhorse check, investigating areas which might still need some easing. Gary is 21 this year, so, like me, well, like me. We found some areas of 'draw' and so did a little bit of marma point release, particularly in the rib cage. Big breath on his part, and he was ready for lunch.

I love this stuff.

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