Saturday, March 28, 2015

As a retreat guide what I learn while “on the job.”

Every time we offer our Yoga in Harmony with Horses retreats ( that is me and Terry Lillian Newton of Kindred Spirits) we gain just as much or more than our guests.  In our most recent retreat I received the gift of letting go of my inner dis-harmonies and realized the joy that act gave me.

We had just ridden one and a half hours in the morning sun through countryside and steep hills.  With the help of our ever cheerful volunteer we unsaddled the horses and left them in a shady spot as we hiked through the jungle to the hidden waterfalls and pond.  Our guests marveled at the verdant foliage and jungle noises.

Upon reaching the waterfalls we cooled off in the pond and started to have fun and connection with yoga poses. It was when we reached the large boulders and tall tree growing literally in the middle of the creek that I found my yoga.

waterall yoga 3.gif
Once we settled into our individual meditations I began to simultaneously chant OM.  I felt the vibrations of this primordial and spiritual sound resonate deep in my lower chakras and rise up to my heart chakra.  I was in the moment, my thoughts and body in a state of calm and relaxed awareness. 
 Peace and Harmony

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Waterhole Rituals with Linda Salinas: finding true connection with your horse when he is at liberty and allowed to be in full expression

Horses at liberty, no tack, no restraints, they are free to make their own choices, to decide if they will interact with us or not.

Horses at liberty:  a beautiful concept.  How do you view your horse?  More importantly how does he view you?  Is he always in a halter and tack when you interact with him?  Does your horse have the joy and freedom to just be a horse when he is with you?  

With the spectacular background of Volcano Arenal  we sit in a meditation circle to begin our day

The Water Hole Rituals, formualted by Carolyn Resnick, are a simple and elegant group of behaviors that people can emulate with their horses to forge and enhance their connections to them.  The premise of the rituals, as I interpret them, is to 1.  allow your horse full expression at all times, and 2.  to abide by the "rules" of herd behavior, that is we take on the role of lead mare.

As lead mare we are charged with the responsibility to protect and lead our herd, at all times.  How does a lead mare guide her herd?  She guides from behind, with clarity, integrity, and swiftness.  Horses are prey animals and herd animals.  They are on the look out for predators and they are searching for the security of a lead mare to keep them safe.  

Once a shy horse, leery of human contact, Apache now  seeks contact, he trusts his curiosity to initiate and maintain connection

Linda Salinas guided, coached and encouraged us in a 5 day clinic to appreciate and learn how to "lead" our herd.  In order to lead your herd you first  make a connection with your horse.   When he initiates the contact he is in full expression of his freedom of choice.  We can build upon that first contact to deepen our connection so that he sees us as the source of security and comfort, and  joy and play.  As a yoga practitioner I like to look at this as the true Yoga expression of Union.  In Yoga this union is often expressed as the union of body, mind, and spirit.  There is harmony and a connectedness among all things.  

Two curious beings

What do we do with this connection?  Well, that is up to you.  The rituals are tools to help us connect with our horse.  Whether you are a competitive or casual rider,  this true connection will enhance all your activities together.  Your horse will be your happy and willing partner, always curious to see what next fun adventure you two will have, whether in the competition arena or the trail, or your backyard.


To learn more about the Water Hole Rituals see Carolyn Resnick and Linda Salinas.