Horse Yoga: Taking Yoga and Horsemanship to the Next Level
Yoga on horseback
“You mean you do yoga ON your horse?!” A shocked query is usually how news of my practicing horse yoga is received. I prefer to say I practice yoga with my horse—he serves not merely as a prop, but as my partner. The horse bug bit me before I was even out of the womb, my mother being a lifelong equestrian herself. I grew up competing in local hunter/jumper shows and trail riding in the beautiful mountains of western Maryland. I soaked up as much knowledge as I could, reading articles and books by George Morris, Denny Emerson, Sally Swift, Linda Kohanov, Pat and Linda Parelli, and many others. I rode in Dressage, Natural Horsemanship, and Hunt Seat clinics. I continued to compete during my time at Smith College, joining the Equestrian Team and learning the ins and outs of the IHSA. After college I continued to ride, but just for fun. Competition was no longer fulfilling or fun for me. I wanted to dig deeper, into the soul of the horse-human bond.
Angela Nunez combines yoga and horses
Yoga found me during my college years. A friend dragged me to a hot yoga class, and I felt pretty sure I was going to die as puddles of sweat gathered on my mat, but at the end, I felt great, like a new person. During savasana (the final relaxation in a yoga class), I found peace and quiet in my mind, which usually raced with to-do lists, worries, needs, wants, wishes, and other noise. I kept coming back to the studio, learning to enjoy the sweat, the movement, and the moments of total stillness within. Yoga gave me a peace I had only ever found in the presence of horses. I continued to practice yoga and explored numerous styles, including Hatha, Power, Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative, Jivamukti, and Aerial. I received my 200-hour teaching certification in May of 2015.
Yoga is a journey of getting to know yourself
Combining yoga and horses came naturally to me. They were and still are my two biggest passions, and they complement each other. Yoga is a journey of getting to know yourself deeply; horses reflect back to us whatever is within us. In this way, both yoga and horses help us along on our journey of self-awareness and growth. I learn something new every time I step onto my yoga mat. My horse teaches me something every time I see him, whether we go for a ride, practice yoga, or just hang out together in his field. My greatest joy now comes from sharing horse yoga with the world. As a lifelong horsewoman and an RYT-200 (200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance), I have the knowledge to teach others how to combine yoga and horsemanship. My safety and horsemanship standards are unparalleled in the industry. If you’re looking for a unique horseback riding vacation, horse yoga may be perfect for you. Practicing yoga with a horse is exhilarating, humbling, challenging, and rewarding.
Horse yoga is taking yoga and horsemanship to the next level
If You Go:
Dream Catcher Equine
Horse yoga classes are by appointment only by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The yoga on horseback classes are held at Dream Catcher Equine at Little Heron Lane in Marshall, Virginia. Currently, the cost is $75 per person for 45-60 minute private class. This is a guest post by Angela Nunez. You may learn more about Angela here and more about the facility at http://www.dreamcatcherequineva.com.
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