I’ve been interested in workouts and fitness programs geared towards riders for awhile. I have a few books, and saved a lot of articles. They never stick. I hate running (it’s boring to me), and the idea of actually working out just doesn’t appeal to me. Workout videos. Yuck. They are almost always too advanced for me and I get discouraged. Don’t they have a level -10 beginner workout? I do like riding, biking, and hiking though! Unfortunately, winter usually cuts those activities down by quite a bit.
A few months ago, I was on a “I’m going to try to get in the habit of doing something…workout wise” kick. I tried APHA’s rider fitness program, but was disappointed that the .pdf was from 2008, they discontinued the online portion, and that there weren’t as many exercises for horse and rider to do together. Tango is pretty tubby and out of shape, too!
I also tried a beginner yoga video and really enjoyed it. It was Yoga with Adriene’s “Yoga for Complete Beginners”. It really was for beginners and Adriene didn’t make me feel bad about being terrible at it (I know it’s just a video, but some give off some super judgey vibes! Ha!) Then, weeks went by and I thought about doing the video again, but never did.
My sister and I were talking one day, and she mentioned she had been doing “Yoga with Adriene” videos for about a month. We both agreed the videos were great and decided to try the 30 Day Yoga Challenge. I did the complete beginners video for about 4-5 days before we started the challenge. I am still really, really a beginner. Today is Day 8. I have done all the videos, so far. While I can’t do a lot of the moves, I give them a shot and keep trying. I am improving! It also really helps to have a somebody trying the same thing and encouraging you to keep going, even better is that you don’t have to be in the same state!
Here is what I really love about the videos: they make me feel good, and I can apply a lot of the philosophy and results to riding. So far, yoga is beginning to help me be more aware of my tight shoulders, the difference in flexibility from one side to the other, and balance. And so far, I’ve been able to apply the philosophy of Adirene’s videos to improving my seat and overall posture. I’ve been focusing on opening my shoulders and sitting up, but “finding what feels good” (as Adriene would say). Riding correct isn’t all about perfect posture. You have to find a softness and level of comfortable too!
So, after my rambling on what I like about yoga, maybe you should give it a try! Here is the beginner’s video I started with, and the challenge I am doing now. Oh and a bonus for why I love Adriene’s videos…she has a heeler.