PEACE, CALM & TRANQUILITY
Meditation is a really useful tool for all equestrians to use. It allows us to control our breathing, heart rate and focus. It also helps with our general wellbeing and for dispelling negative thoughts.
As a meditation practitioner I use meditation techniques with a full range of riders from people who are really struggling with their confidence, to competitive riders who need to remain focussed at all times. It also helps with self-awareness which allows us to ride better and make clearer decisions when competing. Meditation can also really help our horses. They are flight animals and so react when others heart rates increase, if we can remain relaxed and be in a “calm” state, our horses should be able to relax around us.
How and when we meditate is entirely personal to us. There is no one size fits all solution, just whatever works best for you. We also all meditate for different reasons, such as dealing with stressful situations, a better nights sleep, preparing for the day ahead, improving focus, aiding recovery from injury, plus many more. An average length for a meditation is approx 10 minutes. For the best results, you should try to do you meditation at the same time every day. However, this is different if you are using meditation for confidence or focus when riding, as this needs to be done at the required time. I personally find a benefit to daily meditation, and then meditate again if I want to improve my focus and performance.
Meditation is a huge subject and I will be adding a lot more content to this subject, but lets start with two of the fundamentals of mediation:
Lets start with Breathing Exercises. Through focusing purely on our breathing, we learn to focus ourselves while remaining relaxed. The advantages of these techniques are: improved blood flow, improved immunity, improved sleep, improved posture, increased energy, reduced anxiety, to name just a few.
There are several different types and methods of breathing exercises. If you head to the bottom of the page, we have some great recommendations for how to get going on your own meditation.
Body Scan meditation is a great way to release any tension in your body ( you could be surprised to see where you are holding to tension!). It involves you working in gradual sequences from your feet to your head, paying attention to parts of the body and sensations. Again, if you head to the bottom of the page, you’ll find some recommendations of where to start with your meditation.
Find a place where you will not be disturbed to do your meditation
Using headphones to do your meditation can really help as it helps to shut out the outside world.
Try to do your meditation at the same time every day
Start small with meditation, 5 minute is plenty to start with.