An important part of both exercise and riding is the ability to fully focus on what you’re doing.
When riding our performance can be hugely improved by being fully present in what we’re doing, how our horse is feeling and reacting and in turn responding to that.
The same goes for exercise. If you can focus on the muscles and your movement pattern throughout this will give you better results both physically and mentally.
An Athlete would call this Flow State.
The ability to be fully immersed in what you are doing, having your body follow your horse and to be as one with your horse-Flow State.
However, I think for most of us it’s more of a mental battle than that. Whilst we think we are in the zone, our brain is probably sifting through various thoughts; maybe your work day, what else you have to get done that day etc.
I can tell what mental state someone is in during their exercise session by how they are moving.
If your brain isn’t in the game during your workout your balance will likely be off. If someone’s struggling to perform stable movements often it can be a as much a brain problem as a muscular problem.
How do you get your head in the game then and find your flow state?
You can work on your mental stillness and focus in various different ways. For some people it’s Meditation, for other’s it’s Yoga or maybe it’s music, running whatever.
A great way to test it before you get on is to stand on one leg and just stay still. Too easy? Now try it with your eyes shut! Struggling? Focus on a spot in front in front of you that isn’t moving. This focuses your brain on the object and creates the stillness you’re after.
How do you find your Flow?