Another great pose to incorporate into your pre ride warm up is the Seated Twist (or the upper part of Warrior Two pose). I say “upper part” because you will not be standing in the full Warrior Two pose like this…
…but you will be doing the same movements with your upper body. This pose is great for posture, spine mobility, seat awareness, and back flexibility. All important to good riding!
As with Cat/Cow , this pose can be performed either on the floor, elevated like on a chair, mounting block or bale of hay, as well as in your saddle on your horse.
Seated Twist will help you open up your chest and keep your shoulders where they should be. For example many times riders lean into a turn, dropping the inside shoulder. As you know, this kind of movement will throw a horse’s balance off and he will need to compensate to stay balanced.
Seated Twist improves the awareness of your seat bone position because you will be focusing on this when you are performing the pose. Then as you ride, you will be more connected to the proper seat bone position. You will become aware of yourself when you lift or lean.
Finally, Seated Twist will help warm up and relive any tension you might be carrying in your lower back.
Let’s get started!
Find yourself seated evenly on your seat bones with your back straight, shoulders square and head normal. Picture someone pulling a string out of the top of your head.
While inhaling to a count of 4 raise your arms out to the side and up above your head.
Then as you exhale (to a count of 4) twist your body to the right. MAKE SURE YOUR HIPS STAY FORWARD!!
Stretch your arms as far as you can, trying to keep them level with your shoulders. Inhale back up wards for 4 counts with your arms then exhale (on 4 counts) and turn to the left this time.
Repeat these full movements; over head then to the side, rotating sides each time, at least four times.
You can learn this pose and 11 others when you purchase the DVD or Digital downloads here
Peace, yoga and horses,