Yoga for equestrians

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Yoga for Equestrians is a very interesting book about yoga and how to use this discipline to achieve the maximum union with the horse. We ,at our horse riding centre in Tuscany Il Paretaio, organize regular yoga for equestrians retreats because we think that any rider would really benefit by this practise. The following text is an extract of the book Yoga for Equestrians.

What is Yoga?

There is no concise textbook definition of yoga that satisfies everyone; this ancient tradition has been interpreted in a variety of ways by people throughout the world and throughout history. You may have already formulated your own personal interpretation of yoga or what it represents to you. To many, yoga is a “way of life, an integrated system of education for the body, mind and inner spirit.” To others, it is the perfect “all purpose exercise.”

However, each definition of yoga refers to three essential elements:
- body, through which we experience the world phisically;
- mind, responsible for all our intellectual perceptions;
- soul or spirit, the unseen part of us that seeks balance and inner-peace in our lives.

The practise of yoga aids in the preservation of our health and well-being and creates inner harmony, enhancing our relationship to the world around us. Despite references to the soul, yoga is not a religion, but rather a practical approach to self-discovery.

The word yoga i san ancient Sanskrit word that means 2union2 or to “make whole” and refers to the ultimate alliance between body, mind and spirit. There are many systems of yoga. Like the spokes of a wheel that converge at the center, they provide numerous paths to the central goal of wholeness and balance.

The path more familiar to the Western world is Hatha Yoga. It is the avenue of yoga which seeks balance through toning and strenghtening the physical body. Hatha (pronounced HA-ta), also a Sanskrit word, illuminates the many polarities within each of us. These polarities are represented by the Sun (ha), which symbolizes masculine Energy espresse in the formo f activity, and the Moon (tha), which symbolizes feminine Energy espresse in the formo f receptivity. Both masculine and feminine energies are present in all men and women to varying degrees. Hatha yoga is a means to bring a bilance unity to the polarities within ourselves through asanas and pranayama, which are the foundation of Yoga for Equestrians.


Yoga is a powerful method that cultivates self-awareness. To become self-aware is to truly know your mind and body and under stand the relationship between the two. Your success as a rider relies greatly on your level of body-mind awareness, which can improve through your practice of yoga.

Traditionally, a key function of the riding instructor has been to assist the student in developing body awareness in order to achieve the correct position on the horse.

However when equestrians take the iniziative to improve body awareness off the horse, their performance on horseback is greatly enhanced. Even for advanced riders, the practice of yoga can expand self-awareness and promote a deeper connection with the horse.

Extract from the book Yoga for Equestrians by L.Benedik & V. Wirth
Staff Il Paretaio 2016-03-11