Fit to Ride: Yoga for lawn darts

Whether you actually hit the deck or just got tossed around a bit, an “Oh $h!t” moment can be heck on a rider’s body. Fitness guru Biz Stamm demonstrates how a few simple yoga poses can speed recovery.Top photo from the HN “Oh $h!t” archives.

From Biz:

Recovering from those “Oh $h!t” moments

Everyday during my runs I listen to the “Horses in the Morning” podcast.  Hosts Glenn, Jen and Jamie, provide me with entertaining and often educational banter that makes the miles fly by.  On Monday, Jamie, an event rider, was recounting an “Oh $h!t” moment she endured while schooling cross-country on her over-exuberant OTTB Jet.  You’ll have to listen to the episode to get the full story, but let’s just say there was lots of bounding, leaping, sideways galloping, and near collisions with another horse and a dog.  Jamie hung on through it all, but despite her ability to remain in the tack, this “Oh $h!t” moment left her with a bad case of whiplash.  While listening to the story, I had flashbacks of my own horse opportunistically bolting and leaping, followed by sympathy pains in my back and shoulders.

“Oh $h!t” moments are the great equalizer amongst equestrians.  Regardless of your age, experience or discipline of choice, you will encounter at least one sooner or later.  Here at Horse Nation, we don’t hide from these moments.  We wear them like a badge of honor (and laugh hysterically when they happen to someone else).  So today I will be talking about different techniques you can use to recuperate from those often painful “Oh $hit” moments.  This one goes out to you, Jamie.

The main side effects of an “Oh $h!t” moment tend to bumps, bruises, sore muscles and extreme embarrassment.  While I can’t help you too much with the whole embarrassment thing, I can tell you about about some relaxing yoga positions that can help ease the pain.

First up, corpse pose.  [Insert witty comment about how actually becoming a corpse is generally considered to be undesirable.]  Regardless of where you’re hurting, this pose is a great way to find your mental center and initiate the relaxation process.  It’s incredibly easy to do.  Just lie flat on the floor, breathe deeply, and relax. You can hold this pose for as long as you’d like.  You may even find yourself dozing off a bit.

Next up, for all those wrenched backs out there, we have the child’s pose.  This pose involves getting on your knees and reaching your arms forward until they touch the ground.  This is an amazingly relaxing stretch that will help loosen up your lower back.

If your shoulders get tired while in child’s pose, you can pull them back by your sides and give them a rest.

Last up is pigeon pose, which is a great stretch for your low back and your butt.  Sit on the floor and bring one knee in front of you, and stretch the other leg back.  Lean forward until your forearms are lying on the floor.

If you’re still sore after all of those stretches, Pi would like to remind everyone to never underestimate the power of a hot bath and a cold beer.

Go riding!


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