I’ve been doing yoga for a while now to help my wonky back(total success-pain free) but also to improve my balance, straightness, strength, and flexibility for dressage. See my DRT post for my favorite free online yoga videos for riders. I also started doing in person yoga classes in January which have been sadly curtailed by Covid 19. Sometime in the past year or so I made a personal commitment to do at least 30 minutes of yoga a day. I noticed when I did yoga the previous day I had no back pain on the following day. I’ve missed one or two days but have been pretty consistent, mostly helped by watching the PBS Newshour while doing my stretches. This might sound very un-yoga like, but for me tying yoga to something that is mildly distracting in the background, plus having a set time every day, really helps me to be 99% on it. Not very spiritual, but very good for consistent practice and getting an in depth views of the crazy.
Anyhoo, this is not the point of my post, which is how doing yoga consistently has affected my recent posture change for dressage. Frankly, it has been much easier than I thought it would be to stack my vertebrae while riding. It takes some concentration on my part, but physically it has not been difficult other than a little stiffness fixed by, you guessed it, more yoga. Riding while keeping stacked is starting to get easier mentally but I think the body control and flexibility gained with regular yoga has been the game changer. I’ve even started stacking my vertebrae in my yoga poses which has made the transition even easier. It’s amazing how a balance pose, say on one leg, is much more difficult while stacking, which then translates over nicely to something like a canter depart. I’m so glad I started down the yoga path for my riding but especially for my general health. Mr. Exploring Dressage Biomechanics has also been persuaded to do a little yoga 3-5 times a week and his blood pressure has gone down considerably. Even when watching the News Hour. Who knew?