The Best Types Of Yoga For Riders

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We talk a lot about yoga here at Stable & Spice, not only because it feels good, but because it’s good for you. But with so many different types of yoga out there, it’s hard to know which one is best for a rider, let alone best for you. In picking what type of practice you want to focus on, consider your goals for that day. Are you looking to quiet your mind and stretch your body? To really work and engage your core? Here are 5 types of yoga explained so you can pick the best practice for you.

Restorative yoga is my go-to practice at the end of the day, especially on riding days. This type of yoga emphasizes deep breathing and poses that stretch or open up your shoulders, hips, and chest. Not only is restorative yoga physically relaxing, but it’s also meant to recharge your mind and your spirit. Try this 15-minute practice if you need to relax and recharge.

You may know Vinyasa Yoga as Power Yoga. This practice focuses on building strength, endurance, and is a good cardio workout. Centered around the sun salutation, vinyasa yoga also focuses on synchronizing breath with movement. While you’re strengthening your body, you also have to keep an active mind and remember to breathe, which so many of us forget to do when we’re in the saddle. Here’s a 20-minute practice designed with the dressage rider in mind.

The in-between of restorative and vinyasa yoga, Yin Yoga focuses on flexibility and breathing. Instead of pushing yourself into poses, however, you release your body into the next pose and hold for a certain length of time. This type of yoga is meant to stretch out your connective tissues and releasing negative energy. Here is my favorite 20-minute practice that helps open up tight hips.

Practiced in a room with a temperature of almost 100 degrees, detox is the main focus of Bikram Yoga. There are 26 yoga poses that are performed twice during your 90-minute session. Weight loss, especially water weight, is a huge benefit of Bikram yoga. It’s also a great way to condition your body to get used to the heat of the summer show season. This video takes you through the 26 poses you will go through in your Bikram yoga class.

No matter what practice you choose, always remember to listen to what your body needs and remember to breathe.

Nicole is a writer for Heels Down Media. If she's not writing or editing, she's either running, doing yoga, or at the barn working on becoming a better, stronger dressage rider.

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