I celebrated my 60th birthday this year. So I enter this new decade ready to learn more, go deeper into the study of what I love, and change old habits that hold me back. If you know me, I don’t have to tell you that my loves outside my family and dear friends are physical development and horseback riding. OK, anything horsey.
Since I have started a Yoga practice about 18 months ago, my flexibility has gone exponential. Great gains in range of motion and far better results in my weight training, recovery …..and of course, in riding.
What did that take? Awareness. Showing up to Yoga 3 times a week, yes. But also paying attention to the intent of each pose and how each one has the ability to lengthen and loosen different sets of muscles.
And intention. As always in my own workouts, I asked “What do I need to work on? What movements or patterns will benefit most- today, this week, as building blocks for the future?” I also ask this with each of my clients, because each session must start with intention.
What else ?
I have stopped a habitual nightly alcohol habit. This was a major impediment to better health and greater mental acuity. I haven’t missed the “buzz” as it has been replaced by increased energy and wonderfully focussed thought processes. I still have an occasional drink, but I enjoy it with intention and awareness.
I have lost about 15 pounds that have crept up over a 10 year period. That makes everything easier!
I have become more intentional in each ride. In training myself and my young horse, I ask again: “What do we need to work on? What movements or patterns will benefit us most- today, this week, as building blocks for the future?”
I have embarked on a difficult task- breaking physical patterns in my riding I have held for about 50 years. Very difficult to rewire. But not impossible! Yay! I can become a better rider.
(For you horse people, this translates into my working with 3 incredible mentors: Jeanne Dake for focused developmental dressage work, Senja Stevig for relentless attention to my seat, legs and hands while riding, and Pat Lambert for groundwork and communication with my equine partner. More about this in future, horse-related blogs)
So this year, I will strive to improve all of our health by just paying closer attention. I hope you will, too- big payoffs!