"Above all, learn how to breath correctly" Joseph Pilates
I'm very good at it, I've been doing it for over 45 years now.
Deep, shallow, deliberate, I was particularly good at well placed deep sighs when I was a teenager, I have all the skills, heck I even teach people about breathing! I'm a rockstar at breathing.
Until I stepped into a round pen with a small grey stallion. I had been advised by my tutor that this ponies love of life and exuberance may mean a pair of high kicking back heels, a squeal many a teenage girl would covet and a skill at farting most of us only ever aspire to. Often all 3 at once.
Apparently this display was saved for "high energy" students and those with "low" energy would barely be able to get him to a slow walk. Having 5 year old twins and a serious sleep disorder I have never considered myself "high energy" I thought I was a definite half asleep, running on empty kind of energy.
How wrong can a person be?
Within 20 seconds of entering the round pen I was standing in the middle of a farting, squealing rodeo. With only my own body and my newly learnt equine psychology skills to restore peace, harmony and calm.
I knew I needed to breath, I could hear my instructor telling me to breath, breath, relax and let go more than I ever thought I could or would be able to.
I breathed out and felt my whole body sag in a way I was not used to, it felt alien and unusual.
The result was astonishing, this crazy little rodeo dude also began to slow down, we became synchronised. With every out breath that I relaxed, he responded with more communication.
Until , finally I was able to invite him to come to me and trust me. I let out another deep sigh and stood quietly and waited. He walked calmly to me and we were then able to walk round the pen together without any contact or need for lead ropes. In that moment I learnt the true power of breathing.
Flight animals can teach us many things if we choose to listen.
I have learnt so much from my equine teachers in a very short space of time and I now understand how I can use my breathing not only for myself but my clients too.
Every out breath can release us from our patterns of holding and tension.
I had not realised how much energy I was constantly pushing out, yet at the same time never really breathing out and relaxing, until this small grey energy ball gave me a lesson I'll never forget.
They say "When the student is ready the teacher will appear".
Thank you to all the horses this week who have been my teachers.
I was ready and I've been listening.