Some people enjoy a good yoga session to open the lungs, stretch the limbs and free the mind. Others enjoy the way a horse ride through an undisturbed natural landscape offers a connection to both animal and earth, while stimulating the senses. Now, what if you combined the two?
Holistic Riding, located in the far western Algarve, near the village of Carrapateira, is a unique opportunity to experience horse riding with the added benefits inherent in the practice of yoga. When approached in this way, Founder and Equestrian Andreas Endries believes horse riding can enhance awareness, relaxation, natural breathing, perception, centeredness and energy flow.
From the beginning, Holistic Riding prepares the rider physically and mentally. Riders participate in the grooming and tacking up activity. Here they learn to watch for signs from the horse, including the way it is touched and handled. A short exercise session based in yoga and tai chi is next. This enables a sense of balance and breathing. Once relaxed, riders proceed with leading the horse. It is an experience intended to communicate direction and speed with the horse, by only using body language.
And finally, on the horse, riders learn the movement of the animal by sitting in various positions. Says Endries, “even people who already have some experience in riding are often astonished to learn about the different ‘feels’ of riding, when sitting sideways or backwards, or even lying down on the horse.” Now balanced, aware, relaxed and spiritually-centered, the rider can encounter the nature trail and the world around with a completely different perspective.
A variety of lessons and riding programs are available:
Select from 1, 1 ½, 2 or 3 hour rides through the beautiful Natural park of the western Algarve.
For experienced riders, this ride navigates around hillsides,
across beaches and to the quaint village of Carrapateira.
A delicious cookout lends to the experience of taking a full-day
away from civilization.
Riding through the moonlight stimulates senses in a very
unique way. This form of solitude offers the opportunity to become more aware of the connection to animal and nature.
Holistic Riding has numerous other classes and workshops combining the physical with the spiritual. Consider full courses in…yoga for equestrians, traditional bow shooting and “Living in Balance.” The latter program combines holistic riding and life coaching in nature. A full complement of holistic treatments and massages are also available.
Or, consider a week-long workshop. Two special courses are scheduled multiple times throughout 2011. Yoga for Equestrians “offers a refreshing and innovative path toward achieving a dynamic, harmonious union with the horses.” Horse Relationship Workshop focuses on the relationship between horse and human, to be conscious of our own body language and to understand the body language of the horse.” Accommodation for the workshops is at the Monte Velho Eco-Resort.
No previous knowledge or experience in yoga or riding is required to participate in these unique courses.
For more information on their philosophy, programs, costs and location, visit Holistic Riding website.
Holistic Riding Center
Phone: +351 916 269 813