I’ve known Shaaron for many years but only recently started taking yoga classes with her. At first the poses seemed so foreign to me, and I wondered if I’d ever get the hang of it. In my third lesson she said, “Learning yoga is like training wild horses. It doesn’t happen in one day. It takes time and coaxing and patience.” At that moment I realized how similar yoga actually is to my sport, riding:
Each breath in yoga is like one stride on my horse;
Just as I must listen to my horse, I must listen to my body, my mind, and my teacher;
It takes tiny steps forward, regular practice, and many years to master.
In both riding and yoga, sometimes you’re pushed a little beyond your comfort level, but your teacher won’t ask you to do anything she doesn’t absolutely believe you can do;
Eventually you have to let go and trust.
Riding a horse is an exercise in integrating two separate beings. It takes many years and many small steps to create a balanced partnership. Yoga seeks to integrate the body and the mind; by quieting the mind and stretching the body beyond its normal range, we can synchronize these aspects of ourselves that can become so disjointed they often feel like separate beings.
When I’m riding I’m not thinking about my bank account, the list of chores waiting for me, or any of the petty worries that cause me stress and anxiety. My mind becomes peaceful. I realized between poses that yoga with Shaaron that my mind had found a similar quiet, one that I can carry with me the rest of the day.
written and submitted by Allied Yoga student Cathy Robb