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Yoga and Equine Therapy - Erin's Lessons from Horses

Hello yoga friends!


It's been a while since I've visited or embarked on any in-person teaching opportunities. I've missed you all and I'm excited to announce that I will be coming to Pitt Meadows this July and teaching live for the first time in almost 2 years! My time in the country has taken me on quite the journey, empowered me with new skills, and has shared with me some incredible life lessons.


I look forward to sharing some of these stories with you all, but above all, I'm excited to share the most impactful healing experience of my past few years - Horses!


Not to say that I've been riding them and becoming a cowgirl, but rather I've had the pleasure of working therapeutically with a group of rescue horses in my neighborhood. I brush them, clean their hooves, help care for their wounds or diminished state of nourishment, and was even able to implement a therapeutic exercise routine to help them regain their former strength and confidence. Many of them are on in years, so I think of it as my therapeutic yoga program for old lady horses. They have all made incredible recoveries and it has been an honor and pleasure to play a small part in that process. I entered my relationship with these horses ignorantly believing myself to be the healer, and they the ones in need of my care. I was quickly humbled with the realization that these horses, despite their past traumas, were mentally and emotionally healthy with well regulated nervous systems, curious dispositions, and were seeking connection and friendship. I was amazed with how well each of them was able to read what was happening for me emotionally, respond to it, and even help me to relax and move out of negative states into a place of calm presence. I quickly realized that my new horse

friends were able to both mirror what was happening in my nervous system, and to show me compassion, connection, and how to regulate myself into a better state.

It was they who were teaching me to heal, to become more present, to connect more deeply, and to explore new paths and ways of responding. Their resiliency to move past the neglect they had suffered, to move into the joy of their new family and home, to heal, connect, and share was inspiring beyond belief! Like so many of us, these horses had suffered at the hands of people who misunderstood or where unable to meet their needs. They were let down, undervalued, abandoned, and powerless to improve or escape their situation. In most humans, this kind of treatment can often lead to complex trauma or PTSD which can take years of therapeutic support to heal and move on from. Anyone who has experienced very difficult emotions such as those associated with grief, traumatic experience, depression, or fear and panic, to name a few, understands how difficult it can be to move on from these experiences. However, as soon as these horses where rescued by a wonderful and caring woman, they were instantly able to move out of a state of trauma and into a state of joy, connection, and trust. In Polyvagal Theory terms, they were instantly and easily able to resolve the trauma in their nervous system and return to a 'Ventral Vagus' state of safety and social connection. In short - THESE HORSES WERE YOGA MASTERS!! I began to wonder how one might be able to learn about resiliency skills from observing horse behavior. What secrets could these magical animals share with us? How do they move on from difficult experiences of suffering with such grace? How is it that they can naturally and instinctively move on from trauma and embrace life again?


I guess the universe must have heard my inquisitions and decided to send me answers, and with them, more curiosity, more connection, and an exciting new therapeutic direction! After meeting my old lady horse yoga crew on her visit last summer, my favorite yogini co-teacher, Nicole Von Chorus, introduced me to Lynn Moseley from the River Haven Farm, and the concepts of Equine Assisted Therapy. Lynn's vision is one of empowerment for people, horses, and community, and very much in line with our approaches to healing and therapeutic care. We instantly knew that our paths were aligned and that we could create something revolutionary together!

 

When Nicole and I were offered to take up positions as practitioners on the River Haven Farm team, we were filled with joy! I began to learn more about the intriguing world of Equine Assisted Therapy and the many incredible benefits that the River Haven Farm programs bring to the community. Nicole and I are honored and excited to join the River Haven Community and to combine the Centered Within Yoga style of therapeutic care with the vast knowledge and experience of their incredible team!


We'd like to invite you to join us for our first weekend long retreat combining equine assisted therapy with yoga therapy, polyvagal theory, biomechanics, fascial care, sound healing, and holistic nutrition to offer a wellness weekend like no other! Recharge your battery, reset your nervous system, and allow nature and her most majestical creatures to align your mind, body, and spirit and to show you the path to your own inner peace and empowerment!


 

ALIGN:

A Regenerative Yoga & Equine Therapy Retreat for Mind, Body, & Spirit 


July 5th-7th, 2024

 



Be sure to book early and take advantage of the Early Bird Discount!


 

Option to book into the hotel down the street at a special rate and stay the weekend, or to go home at night and come back in the morning for those of you who live local.

 

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