Riding can be a form of moving meditation. In this article you will learn how to use mediation to practice body awareness and fluidity in the saddle. Please use safe riding practices while learning how to meditate while riding. For extra support and guidance, download this free series of guided meditations for equestrians.
The first exercise is a basic body awareness exercise similar to a guided relaxation meditation where you focus on each body part and allow the tension to melt away. Start with a soft eye. Become completely aware of your surroundings without focusing your attention on any one thing. Be aware of the sounds around you and the smells. Now take all of that awareness and bring it into your temples and then into your head. Bring your focus down your neck. Is there tension? Is your head stacked on top of your neck or is it tilted? Drop down into your shoulders. Release any tension. Are your shoulders even? Bring your awareness down your arms. Are they fluid and following the motion of your horse’s head? Feel your hands and the reins that run through your fingers. What does the grip feel like? Can you feel the connection to your horse’s mouth?
Follow the energy and motion in your arms back up to the point between your shoulder blades. Feel where both sides of the energy connect at this point. Allow your shoulder blades to melt down your back. Follow the energy down your spine. Are your vertebrae stacked on top of one another? Feel the motion from your horse ripple through your spine. Now bring the awareness around though you entire torso. Focus on your breathing. Are you breathing deeply by using belly breaths to pull the air all the way into your lungs? Or are you breathing shallow with only your chest rising falling? How does the motion of the horse affect your breathing?
Next move your awareness to your hips. Is your pelvis tilted? Are you sitting evenly on both seat bones? Are your hips moving equally with the motion of the horse? Can you feel the vibration and connection with your horse through your seat? Drop down into your thighs. Are they tight or relaxed against your horse’s side? Continue to take your awareness down through your knees, down your calves, into your ankles and then your feet. What does your lower leg feel like against your horse’s side? Can you feel your horse breathing? How do the stirrups feel across the ball of your foot? Is your weight evenly distributed into both feet?
From here focus on your breathing and become aware of your entire body and how everything is working together. Feel the motion of your horse and be completely in the moment in your body. Release any places of tension. Slowly start to shift anything that feels blocked, stuck or out of balance. Allow yourself to be aware of any other thoughts and watch as they pass. Allow any emotions to rise up and fall away again. You are having the very unique experience of a sitting meditation while in motion.
You may also be interested in:
FREE DOWNLOAD: A 6 Part Guided Meditation Series for Equestrians – Take these audio files with you to the barn and learn new techniques to connect with yourself and your horse. Click the link for more information!
Ridden Mediation Part Two – Meditate on Your Horse’s Body and Motion
Ridden Meditation Part Three – Explore the Dynamic Connection between You and Your Horse
Give this technique a try the next time you are warming up or out for a leisurely trail ride. Let us know how it goes.