Monday, April 21, 2014

Lessons 90 & 91: Body Awareness

One of the most popular party games when I was a kid was Twister. Anyone remember this game that calls upon players to take control of their limbs and coordinate those limbs to touch specific spots on a coloured mat, all while precariously holding oneself together, in a twisty pretzel form? It's tough, to figure out where your body parts have to land. I was never very good at this game... I started practising yoga though, in my 20s and learning to be conscious about a body part's angle or location was definitely tricky at the get go. But, that 'training' has helped me really isolate sensations and postures of the rest of me while (you got it!) horseback riding.

I'm fortunate (and on my less coordinated days, I don't feel as much.... LOL) to ride a mare who's particularly sensitive to all movement on her back. A few weeks ago, you'll remember that I had a miserable time on the right rein getting Ariel to keep to the rail. Since then, I've been focusing on the right rein and we've thrown bending out the window and went with just being able to keep control of turning along the rail or along a 20m circle. Things have been progressing and we're getting back to where I need to be. I've gone from hopelessly struggling to move her back to the rail, to recognizing the problem and consciously addressing it. As Ariel responds to my own corrections, I can confirm that it's all me and my lack of (and poor) communication with her.

To add to this whole thing, there have been instances where Ariel will go straight into the wall if she receives conflicting signals from me. I didn't know what I was doing wrong at the time but we've also discovered that I don't seem to commit to where I am going... for example: if I'm intending to turn right but I casually (or even quickly) glanced left (even for a split second), I could almost hear Ariel say "... ok... right we go... du du du... WHAT?! left?!?????" and off we go running into the wall. *sigh* I kid you not. We've had a couple of "fights" lately about what I want and what she thinks we should be doing.

While these have been new challenges due to my latest physical struggles, I continue to struggle, with posture and position--especially during transitions. However, I've been much better at being able to isolate where parts of my body are at, and what they're doing and subsequently, making the adjustment during the movement, to get back to what is ideal. When I catch myself pinching with my right knee, I can actively re-shift my leg and readjusting the weight while continuing in the pace that Ariel is doing. These are big improvements compared to where I was last summer!

My homework continues to be lots of cross-training:
  • an intense yoga class (even if that's just me at home) at least once a week
  • regular hip stretching and shoulder realignment (downward dog) on the nights I don't have a yoga session
  • incorporate cardio this month... running (I have new shoes!) and cycling
Posting Diagonal Jar Tally =  4 (2 lessons) x $2.00 = $8.00
To date = $167.00

No comments:

Post a Comment