17 February 2011

Yoga anyone?

Risa Jackinsky of Yoga Fit

It's interesting that the subject of Yoga and equestrian fitness has come up twice this week. The first time, in a conversation with Desiree Johnson, whom you may know as the youngest person to ride in the 1978 World Championships in Lexington Kentucky.  The second time yoga and the equestrian popped up on the radar was on the internet, just a few minutes after talking with Dez, when I was surfing through Darley Newman's Equitrekking Blog (still the blog of the week because there's so much great information to be found on the site).

In Desiree's case, she swears by Ana Brett Ravi Singh's Ultimate Stretch Yoga and it's ability to keep her flexible for riding.  She warned me to take it slow as these workouts really help with flexibility but can be pretty intense. As I age,  I have become a fan of all things that will keep me flexible.  Therefore I'm ordering this one. 

On her Equitrekking Blog, Darley posts an great article by Susan Sielegman called Yoga Stretches for Equestrians.  The article features ten stretches performed by YogaFit instructor and medical massage therapist Risa Jackinsky.  Well-illustrated by Jackinsky, these stretches are specifically tailored to the needs of the equestrian.  Yoga-Fit has a website for additional information and many of the Yoga-Fit DVDs are available on Amazon.

I've always felt yoga would be particularly beneficial for men. They seem to be less supple than women in the first place,  and seem to have more issues with decreasing flexibility as they age. But the truth of the matter  -- as I'm sure most baby-boomers already know -- is that no one is immune to the relentless stiffening of tendons and ligaments as we age. Yoga helps slow the tide.

For myself,  there's something so soothing about yoga -- the stretching, the easing of the lower back. And, at the end of the workout cool down, it's so nice to fall asleep on the mat.

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