Anatomy & the rider, Yoga


Feet, your feet, the things you expect to carry you around, the area where sensory input of where you are, how to balance your whole body comes in, your feet, your connection step by step with Mother Earth.

How often do you pay attention to them? How often do you give them your time?

Mostly they're crammed into I'll fitting shoes, maybe blistered, maybe sores, they're ignored, just expected to keep going, we disconnect from our feet and as we disconnect from our feet we disconnect from our sense of us.
Your feet have a quarter of your bodies muscles and bones in them, the soles are covered in nerve endings that tell the brain what your standing on and how it needs to balance the body, your feet are hugely important in how you live, how you move and how your body positions itself.

If barefoot isn't your thing outside in public the best thing you can do for your feet is get them out of shoes as much as possible, in the home, garden, under the desk at work. Allow your feet to be naked and exposed, allow them to do what they are designed to do, stretch your feet daily, play an imaginary piano with your toes, massage your feet, connect with them as much as you can.

As you walk feel how your foot moves on the floor, feel your weight distribute across the foots surface, become aware.
Through connecting with your feet you reroot your self literally taking your thoughts from up in the sky back down to earth, you ground, you calm and from there you will be so much more connected with life.

Anatomy & the rider, Yoga

The thigh bone is joined to the……

The foot bone's connected to the leg bone….
The leg bone's connected to the knee bone…..
The knee bone's connected to the thigh bone….
Doin' the skeleton dance…..
The thigh bone's connected to the hip bone….
The hip bone's connected to the backbone…..
The backbone's connected to the neck bone
That definitely rang true today, I woke up with the worst back pain I've ever had, no explanation why and all I could think was that I'm so grateful to have never really suffered with back pain before.

I was tentative about getting on my mat as moving was pretty painful, but I wasn't going to give myself a get out and thought I'd just avoid anything that hurts, this meant that the main work was in the hips as everything else was just too painful to try, so my practice today consisted of lots of hip openers in as many ways as I could think, changing my pigeon to a deeper version for me with my bent leg at a different angle and just finding comfort in the discomfort.

Bingo, when I left my mat my back was so much better, my hips had released tightness that had been building for a few days and in releasing themselves they eased my back, so I repeated tonight and again a lot better, still not perfect but I can at least move.

It really was a lesson in how our body is connected, and where you may think your pain or tightness is stemming from there could be other sources, where even if you avoid the area that's obvious and work deep into all the other areas you can still find benefits and openings you wouldn't expect.

So in the future I shall investigate more into the quite areas and allow the noisy areas to open on their own accord.

Everyday there's something new to learn, see you in the morning yogis.

Ps loving my new mat from @liforme I always slip and slide on any mat I've tried and this I just stick too, well worth the money if you're an addict like me that slips, I finally feel I trust my connection with the floor!

Anatomy & the rider

Psoas and what they do….

Here’s the first blog in my Riders anatomy series and I’m going to start with the Psoas (said soas). 

These are deep muscles of the pelvis that cross the hip joint. The psoas are part of the group of muscles also known as the hip flexors and are responsible for flexing the thigh upwards.

As you can see from the picture above they connect to the lumber vertebrae and the inside of the femur (thigh bone). This means when then contract they pull the thigh upwards.

These muscles are also part of our deep core and help with stability too.

I’m focusing on these today as when they are tight they cause the rider a world of problems. In today’s modern world we spend a lot of time sitting, we also want flat toned stomachs so do things like sit ups. Both of these things causes the psoas muscles to shorten and tighten. 

When we ride a horse if these muscles are short they restrict the ability of the rider to bring their leg back or even ride with a long stirrup, they can also cause the thighs to rotate inwards causing a clamping effect around the horses back. This then restricts the muscles of the horses back from moving properly and the horses stride length decreases. If you’re a rider that struggles to keep their stirrups unless they’re quite short, if you have a tendency to lean forwards or tilt the upper body forwards when riding or when you go to apply your leg behind the girth you only move from your knee and not from your hip these are all signs that you have tight Psoas.

We need these muscles to be strong as they help with or balance and stability but we also need them to be able to relax and stretch to aid our posture on and off the horse. 

So how can yoga help this? Even those these muscles are deep core muscles they are pretty easy to improve due to most postures in yoga require an element of stretch to the psoas but also a requirement for balance. This works both the flexibility and strength of these muscles. This means by just doing a basic yoga session you’ll start to have an effect on the psoas. 

So next time you’re on your mat focus in on these very deep muscles and see what you observe. 

Namaste beautiful people