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Horse Yoga? The Truth Behind the Mesmerizing Video

in YD News


Partner yoga just got a lot more interesting. For all of you having to explain this horse yoga thing to people, we apologize on behalf of the internet. You see, sometimes the internet loves to embrace something with all its might, dig its little claws in and hold on so tightly until we are all transported to bizarro-land. But enough about the naked woman stealing ice cream. In the case of the horse yoga video, it’s so incredibly mesmerizing, and slightly uncomfortable. You. Can. Not. Look. Away. But what’s the deal? Horse yoga? Really?

This strange, yet peace-inducing video comes from The Doma India School, a non-violent horse-taming establishment in San Luis, Argentina. Founded by a father and son team, Oscar and Cristobal Scarpati, these two have dedicated their lives to the study of horses, their nature, behavior and psychology, says their website. And boy do they have a close bond with those equines. Inspired by a wise indigenous man (a Ranquel “Indian”) Oscar encountered years ago who made such great efforts in caring for his Indian horse, the school was named Doma India. India, here, being used as improperly as it was when Columbus “discovered” America, as in they weren’t really from India.

And yet, the methods used by Oscar, Cristobal and The Doma India School are surely reminiscent of the ancient Indian philosophies behind yoga, especially ahimsa – “non-violence” which, some of you know, also applies to animals. The horse appears to be getting a lovely stretch and massage, and there is certainly some form of meditative energy occurring between the two. When it comes to yoga-like exercises with animals (see: doga) this is pretty close to it.

According to the website (and Google translate):

The method is to tame the horse according to its nature, avoiding cause fear and pain, and by earning their trust and loyalty. This method gives us clear ideas of how to treat the horse, and when and how to teach what we want achieve. The horse learns by persuasion, and knowing its nature, behavior and psychology we can persuade and teach endless exercises that will make that horse a suitable animal to any discipline.

So, is it yoga? Noooooot exactly. When people ask you about that crazy horse yoga thing, tell them yes it does exist, but that video they saw everywhere on the internets is just a super athletic, horse-loving dude being wonderfully kind and connected to his animal friend.



5 comments… add one
  • Vision_Quest2

    This video, despite its being AcroYoga, embodies ahimsa (towards the horse).

    Does this guy teach All Levels Vinyasa Yoga or All Levels Hatha Yoga in a human beings-only class? I don’t even own a cat or dog! (just sayin’)

    We could sure use a little more ahimsa in yoga taught in New York City and if this guy teaches -you are welcome here in New York… until I can find out if this is just a for-the-camera fluke, I second this message. Until then, there are always teachers like J. Brown, ftw …

  • Banana Republic Resident


  • While very interesting, gentle and kind, I am not sure who is benefiting most from this practice, the horse or the human. Human is still leading the horse and not necessarily following the horse’s lead. It appears to me to be more of a kind circus act.

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