Riding with the Whole Self
Exercise program for Equestrians that is innovative, fun, educational and effective for riders who wish to improve their skill, recover from injury or ride more comfortably, based on The Feldenkrais Method. This program of Riding with the Whole Self lessons is The Feldenkrais Method ® taught in a way which specifically addresses the needs of the rider. These audio lessons are designed for the both advanced dressage rider as well as the casual backyard enthusiast at all levels of fitness. Feldenkrais is a process of learning how to develop the ability to self-regulate and adjust from moment to moment. Horses respond to the information transmitted from the rider's pelvis, feet, legs, back, arms, and hands and these signals must be precise. Often riders unintentionally give mixed messages that confuse the horse. With Riding with the Whole Self lessons, the rider will gain the tools to recognize when and how this happens and how to be more focused and precise. This precision will lead to less fatigue and more comfort for both the rider and the horse. To be a top-notch equestrian, a rider must continue to improve self-awareness and self-exploration in his/her pursuit for excellence. Many riders suffer similar problems of balance, pain, and stiffness in the hands and feet, but each rider has to come to his/her problems with a unique history and background. These are specific lessons addressing some of these common problems for riders. Areas addressed are: • balance - equalizing the use of the two sides • posture • strength and power - discovering and properly utilizing the power center of the pelvis • breathing • differentiation- the use of discreet parts of the body with out the interference of others • flexibility • relaxation. The 8 lessons are arranged in an order to help build self awareness and develop specific skills. The first 6 lessons are to be done at home either lying or sitting on the floor or a chair. The last two lessons are done mounted. The audio program includes everything you need to know in order to benefit. The lessons have easy to follow instructions for what to do, how to do it, and where to direct your attention. Paris Kern is a Feldenkrais® practitioner based in Baltimore, Maryland. Since 1992 she has helped many people regain the joy of easy movement, overcome pain and improve their quality of life. Paris brings a compassionate yet light hearted manner to her work. By sharing the knowledge she has gained as a practitioner and teacher of new practitioners, she teaches people how to be independent and self sustaining in their own growth . Paris has a special interest in the concerns of riders and has developed Riding with the Whole Self, a system that specifically tailors the principles of The Feldenkrais Method to the needs of horses and riders. After participating in the first six Feldenkrais lessons contained in 'Riding with the Whole Self'--my very first Feldenkrais experience--I was in awe of how I felt when I rode my Arab for the first time. I felt more centered, felt both sitz bones, did not put as much weight in my stirrups as normal, and felt incredibly more relaxed in my pelvis and rib cage areas. Thank you, Paris! Judy B. When watching Paris work, I am again and again astonished how accurate her observations are and how appropriate her exercises are for the riders. Not only do the riders become more aware of how their own movements affect the riding, but this greater mobility is translated to the horse and seems to free the horse and allow it to move as if there were no weight on it's back.' Brigitte M., Level III Centered Riding Instructor Switzerland Paris, More kudos to you. I rode Fresh for over 40 minutes tonight, most of it at sitting trot and canter and was not in pain. This was probably the longest I have ridden pain free for so long in several years. Yah!!! Becca R. As an FEI rider working towards Grand Prix, Feldenkrais exercises have enabled me to develop a better feel in all the movements. One area which it has especially helped is in feeling my seat bones during the one-tempi changes. Brenda R. By virtue of the awareness I experienced through the pleasurable movements of Feldenkrais lessons, I have found a home in self-carriage where I can experience floating on a horse working from his hindquarters, the bridge under the saddle, and lightness in hand bringing my horse and me closer to each quality of movement described by the Dressage training scale. For the sheer joy of riding, and on behalf of our long-suffering riding instructors, and, of course, our beloved equine friends, I encourage you to experience The Feldenkrais Method. Heather B. Dear Paris, What an amazing ride. Robbie has never gone left like that in my lifetime of riding him! I actually ended up being a bit upset that I have been interfering pretty substantially all these years. I have always had some sense that the problem is the rider and not the horse, but I have never had such profound proof! I am so grateful for all you have done and feel like I have made some peace with my riding. This is how I always believed it should be, but just couldn't get no matter how much I exercised or 'tried' to be even. - Martha Z.