horse pose with the horses!!!

Yoga, Canyons, and Horses

I woke before dawn to admire the sunrise and to walk to meet with friends. We were heading into the canyon about a mile from my apartment to do some yoga and snap some photos.

There’s not much of a story here. This is more of an embrace.

I suggest skimming through Poly Canyon if you’re ever in the San Luis Obispo area. The canyon seems to have been formed from a river that flows quite heavily as long as the season is rainy. It is forested thickly with primarily oak trees and offers a perfect seclusion from the quaint city vibe.

I attached an outline of a popular loop that will take you through an attractive, popular walk through the canyon. You might even come across architecture graveyard, a large grouping of abandoned Cal Poly architecture senior projects.

The trail head is at the mouth of the canyon. There’s a separate trail across the river coming from Poly Canyon Village that’s thinner, more wooded, and that eventually meets up with the trail we took.

Do the Sutras mention yoga and horses?

yoga outdoors
headstand in poly canyon

We set off just as the birds were coming up with the sun in song.

The plan was to leave the canyon and loop through architecture graveyard to reach the summit of a large hill overlooking all of Cal Poly SLO and most of San Luis Obispo.

There was some persistent winds, however, that led to us agreeing that the top of a hill would be prime material for some vicious gusts to reside.

Simply stopping in architecture graveyard would have to do.

To our utter enjoyment, we were spit out of the canyon (which was literally like a wind tunnel that morning!) to a pack of grazing horses whose slight nods looked like a promise that they’d add to the majesty of our yogic activity.

We laid out our mats, warmed up against the cool morning breeze, snapped some shots, and then moved in on the horses to feel their grace against the grace of our poses!

My roommate and I yoga - ing
My roommate and I yoga – ing

Yoga and horses!

The horses weren’t shy. They were actually indifferent to our caresses. They were too at one with their food. I had to warn my friends (who hadn’t been around horses often, it seemed) to not walk behind one of the fellows for fear of their frantic kicks. We kept some distance so we wouldn’t accidentally end up behind on.

I decided to incorporate a horse stance which is a renowned pose in both martial arts and yoga. Check out that link I attached to “horse stance” for a small tutorial on the benefits of this grounding posture. It’s the pose you assume when riding on a horse. I thought the timing was perfect since I undoubtedly wasn’t planning on getting on one of the horses.

I was behind the lens as well!
I was behind the lens as well!

Well we stroked some manes, did the horse stance, got some photos, and stepped in plenty of hay-gastric fluid combinations before scooting back into the canyon for another chance at bliss beneath the trees, but this time with the flowing scent of horse poop always near.


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