Everything Cowboy meets Cowgirl Nirvana

Hello Everything Cowboy Readers,

My name is Katie Wagner and I am a Moksha Yoga Teacher. I teach Hot Yoga in Edmonton at Moksha Yoga Edmonton and Edmonton South. I have also started Cowgirl Nirvana, offering Horse/Yoga retreats during the summer and this winter I am offering weekly horse/yoga classes at a local indoor arena (SW of Stony Plain, AB). I grew up in the Rodeo life style, and Barrel Raced for most of my life, so it is my dream and goal to merge the two things I love most, Rodeo and Yoga. And thanks to Ted Stovin and EverythingCowboy.ca I can bring yoga to you over the Internet with some bi-weekly blog posts.

I will start my first blog by just explaining the benefits of yoga and how it relates to rodeo. I find a lot of people out there are very skeptical about yoga and think it’s sissy stuff. But I have taught professional athletes from the NHL, CFL, and European Hockey League and I know a lot more professional athletes and teams are adding it to their workout regime. There are many benefits that come from having a regular yoga practice, physical, mental, and health. But like anything it doesn’t happen over night it takes time and practice to see the rewards of your yoga practice.

I will start by explaining the physical benefits. A main component of a strong yoga practice is a strong core, that doesn’t mean having a six pack of abs, but engaging the deep muscles of your core. In any pose in yoga your core must be contained at all times to achieve proper alignment. Having a strong core in everyday life is important to help with proper posture and to help protect the lower back. If you rodeo or ride you know how important it is to have a strong core, whether it be a broke horse or in the rough stock events. Having a strong core helps you keep your seat and keep you in the middle. Another physical benefit to yoga is the obvious stretching component. When you have tight muscles it can make some tasks very difficult and you are more prone to injuries. By stretching and practicing yoga your muscles can learn to relax and you can become more limber allowing you to have a great range of motion. A very common tight spot on people is the hips or some part of the hips. When you have tight hips it can cause tension in the low back and can affect your seat. If your hips are tight you are not allowing the proper range of motion to happen in the body during riding and your low back can take most of the abuse. By having a balanced yoga practice you can stretch and strengthen the body.

There is also a huge mental component to yoga, as yoga is moving meditation. Most people when they start practicing yoga do it for the physical benefits but they soon figure out it has had made a huge difference mentally and emotionally as well. While practicing yoga you are focusing on the breath and movements of the body, allowing you a break from the mental chatter that goes on in your brain constantly all day long. Meditation has many benefits, mainly it reduces stress levels, and focuses the mind. When put into play with rodeo it can really help your mental game. Allowing you to slow the mind and bring your full attention to the task ahead. I find this tool really helpful especially if you are a nervous competitor.

The health benefits of yoga are endless. I have witnessed people go off of medication for various things such as blood pressure and cholesterol because they added yoga to their life style. Yoga can aid in healthy weight loss and help cope with depression as well.

Each post I will be featuring a different pose and I will go deeper on the explanation of how to execute the pose and its benefits. If you have any questions regarding anything or would like more information on yoga or upcoming horse/yoga classes and retreats please feel free to contact me through email cowgirlnirvana@gmail.com

I also have my own blog the link is http://cowgirlnirvana.blogspot.ca/ where I write about yoga and life experiences. Thank you very much for reading.

Peace
Katie

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