Full yoga classes available on Youtube can help you improve your riding in your living room.
As I write, it’s under 30 degrees and Mother Nature is spitting at my window with tiny hail/snow hybrid stuff. I’m currently horseless, but taking lessons at a place without an indoor…so today, getting down (dog) with some yoga sounds a lot more appealing than any outdoor activity.
The Yogamazing video series by Chaz Rough has been my go-to for over 10 years of on-again, off-again yoga practice. No, Chaz doesn’t really know a fetlock from a forelock, but if you’re just starting yoga or coming back after a long break, he’s my favorite. Part of why I like him so much is that he tells you exactly what you should be feeling and doing every step of the way–including when to breathe. Yes, there is actually a right and a wrong way to breathe during yoga, just in case you weren’t already dreading the idea of putting your feet behind your head. But Chaz also has a very no-nonsense style, and emphasizes that yoga can benefit everyone regardless of how flexible they are– all with humor and a minimum of what I think of as “yoga fufuness.”
So I had to try his video for equestrians, created in response to a rider who wrote in wondering what exercises were best for sore backs and too-tight hips. Check it out:
- Lots of hip openers
- Variety of poses targeting core strength, arm strength, and flexibility
- Easy to see how poses cross over to equestrians (heels relaxing downward in Down Dog, gaining a new awareness of how inflexible your hips really have gotten)
- Since it’s a video, no one will laugh at you when you fall down in the balance poses except your cats. They will definitely be judging you.
- Not the type of class that will get your heart rate up–more based on stretching and balance.
- Under 30 minutes–perfect if you want to warm up before riding, but not really enough exercise on its own.
- When Chaz said “equestrian rider.”
Overall, yoga is a great tool to put in your repertoire of rider exercises. If you want more free stretching routines for equestrians that you can do at home with a minimum of fufuness, Kerrits also has a great series free on Youtube!