Sylvia K. Vitazkova, PhD, is a yoga teacher, life coach, horsewoman, and conservation biologist.
Her teaching focus is on correct alignment, the joy and challenge of being fully present in one’s body, and the psychological and spiritual context within which the physical practice is embedded.
Sylvia has a lifelong connection with horses, from her first pony while a child in Africa, to teaching at riding camp in the U.S. as a teenager and later at Claremont Riding Academy in NYC, to the current and ongoing exploration of how yoga can be a tool for better and more connected riding.
Horse riding is a physically and mentally demanding sport. Riding well requires acute body awareness, fitness, flexibility, coordination, and focus. While it may be easy to follow the movement of the horse and to recover from falls when one is young, it becomes increasingly challenging to remain supple, fit, and fearless past one’s twenties.
“Professionals who ride multiple horses each day need to stretch well-used muscles and engage in constructive mindfulness practices to deal with multiple, often stressful, sponsor, client, student and equine demands. Amateurs must maintain fitness, increase coordination and focus, and often need to overcome fear when riding (though few will admit to it!).“
Sylvia teaches riders how to stretch before a ride, how to remain present and fluid while riding, how to loosen used muscles after a ride, and how to prepare mentally to get in the arena or show ring.
In her yoga class, students learn how to:
- unlock mid-back muscles so they can lift their chest without stiffening the lower back
- identify which side of their body is stronger and how that affects the aids
- engage their core and lighten the seat without tightening the buttock muscles and losing fluidity in the spine.
For details, contact Sylvia at (540) 878-1987