Perfect Practice.

FREE workshops for you to practice at home - No points
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Perfect Practice 1.  Breathwork
Perfect Practice 1.  Breathwork
Pranayama is the mastering of "life force energy" through breath control.
Your breath, how you breathe, has a direct impact on your nervous system, through effective use
of Pranayama you can achieve more effective breathing and better energy control, helping and enhancing your agility practice with your equine.

Conscious breathing - becoming aware of how you breathe.
Stand, sit or lie down in a quiet place.
Hold a lead rope in both hands.
"Feel" the rope - this is your "physical connection" when you are with your equine.
Imagine you are with your equine.
Note your feelings, does it bring up any anxiety, are you holding your breath ?

Now breathe.
Inhale through the nose, slow and steady.
Deep breath into the belly, let it fill the rib cage and chest, filling the lungs from the bottom up.

Slowly exhale, through the mouth, from the top down, squeezing out the air, ready for your next breath.
Repeat and find a rhythm, let it flow naturally and continue for several minutes.

Make a audible sigh.
When you are with your equine, he will hear this.
Use it in rhythm for calming and relaxing both of you.
Use it to reinforce positive energy.
For example :-
Coming under the "Arch" as you both pass through and under, drop your shoulders, relax your right arm and sigh LOUDLY, in that moment there is stillness, your equine will feel this and relax with you.

Make conscious breathing part of your daily routine.
Breathe in - breathe out.
Your breathing is connected to your emotions.
When we become upset and fearful, our breathing becomes shallow and the rhythm fast or we hold actually hold our breath.
Deep breathing can trigger a release of emotions, sometimes enough to make you cry, bring an awareness to how you feel at that moment, be kind to yourself and let it go.

Perfect Practice 2. Matchy Matchy

Matching Steps for breathwork and connection.
This can be done in an arena or a quiet corner of a field.
Set up a corridor about 16 metres long, this can be adjusted to suit the size of your equine.
Place a marker at the beginning, the middle and the end.
Start by centering yourself, just check in to how you are feeling, your breathing and your posture.
Feel the ground through your feet, soft knees, shoulders down and relaxed, soft focus.
Feel an awareness to your equine, before you start, take a deep breath in and let out a long audible sigh, if your equine does the same, show him you have heard him by copying him and doing the same again.
Walk forward, as you proceed, try and match steps with your equine, his right, your right, his left, your left.
This takes practice, try not to over think it, but let it flow.
As it develops, and it will, pay attention to your leading position, ideally not in front of your equines nose and not behind his shoulder.
Keep a soft feel on the lead rope, it is your live communication with your equine, be aware of any "conversation" that takes place.
Walk where you feel necessary, when you feel ready, go to your start marker and halt.
Again just check in with yourself and your breathing, be aware of your equine, how relaxed is he? Is he mirroring you?
On an in breath, proceed forward, matching steps with your equine.
At the middle marker, halt, long breath out, be aware of any communication from your equine, particularly any signs of release and relaxation.
When you are ready, on an in breath, proceed forward, SMALL steps.
You are now trying to influence your equine to do the same.
At the end marker, halt again.
Carry on doing this, walking around the arena or field, practicing matching steps.
Alternate walking through the corridor, with SMALL steps and BIG long steps.
Don't expect it all to happen straight away, it takes practice.
Keep the sessions short, as mentally for both of you it can quite exhausting !

Introduce and use matching steps any time you want to "connect."
Use them to show your equine you are "listening" to him, use them to help gain his focus and attention.
They can be a powerful tool in your quest for mutual connection.
Perfect Practice 3. Grounding.
Grounding or earthing as it's also known, is when we make an electrical connection with the earths energies. The earth carry's a negative electrical charge.
As bioelectrical beings, we carry a positive charge. This can build up in our bodies and make us feel out of sorts and disconnected.
Bringing ourselves "back down to earth" is really quite easy and can produce a healing effect on our bodies right down to a cellular level. By connecting to the earth through our feet, we can discharge the excess positive charge and help bring ourselves back to "centre"

Grounding yourself through centering is a subtle therapy that can take time and consistency to perfect but the results are organic and empowering and well worth the effort to practice.

How does this relate to our equines ? 
Put simply they know when we are not grounded and present in ourselves. Our racing thoughts and feelings can make our "energies" appear scattered and all over the place leaving them feeling unsure of us. We ourselves know how disturbing it can feel when the person we are trying to connect with and talk to, appears to be "scatty," it can be a frustrating experience for us.

Creating practice.
First thing in the morning as you swing your legs out of bed and your feet touch the ground, just pause and take a moment. Check in with yourself, become mindful of your thoughts and feelings and breathe, fill your lungs and then let it out long and slow.
Now feel your feet, become aware of any feelings of texture and touch, are they comfortable feelings ? Try to avoid being critical, concentrate on the basics, replace any negative thoughts with ones that make you feel good and happy, after all that's exactly what you deserve to be.

When ever you can take your practice outside, remove your shoes and socks and let your bare feet really  "feel" the ground, move your toes and feel that skin-to-earth connection, hold onto those thoughts and feelings.

Putting it into practice.
Before, during and after a groundwork session with your equine, make it a habit to use your "grounding" techniques to enhance and and make "real" your conversations and communications with your equine, create some wonderful magic between you.