What are the biggest physical constraints you see in jumping either personally or in the sport overall?
LD: “For my body, I work with several different trainers, mostly building core and pelvic strength. I work with a ball to improve my balance a lot. For suppleness and flexibility I find yoga brilliant. It also has the added advantage of creating serenity and a clear mind – all of which I genuinely bring to my game.
“You might see me consciously ‘breathing’ in the ring, just before the start bell, and particularly before a jump off. I work on different breathing techniques, for energising and focussing the mind and body. Honesty, all these approaches to mindfulness and physical wellbeing are core areas I work on because I know they help me maintain my ability to live a hectic, privileged, tough career.
“Like many riders, I love my job, and I have a duty of care to maintain myself in order to meet the athletic needs of the sport and be good enough to ride my horses to the best of my ability.”
Thank you so much to Luciana for inspiring us to be our best in all capacities!
Following Luciana’s lead…
Here at Mind.Body.Vault we love that Luciana is the ultimate demonstration in action of the power of tools such as breath work, stretching, yoga and meditation.
These powerful lifestyle practices are exactly why we created Mind.Body.Vault, to empower equestrians of all disciplines to feel and be their best FOR their horses.
If you are feeling inspired, we have put together a playlist of resources all in alignment with what Luciana does, in the hopes you can get started today one simple step at a time…
Exercise: Sitting on a stability chair or physio ball, feel your weight balanced evenly between your left and right siting bones. You can even start by placing the palms of your hands underneath your seat so as to ensure you can feel your pelvis remains balanced while keeping your spine upright. Slowly then begin to shift weight to one side, until you are able to take weight off the other foot.
The key is doing so while not allowing your weight to shift entirely! Imagine you have a tall glass of water (or something else!) atop your head, even one on each shoulder as you repeat this exercise on both sides, making sure to move slowly. This exercise is also great to do in front of a mirror, with a friend or better yet your trainer watching you as a second pair of eyes!
Yoga for Equestrians
We think you should always flow before you go (anywhere on your horse that is!). We have put together a collection of yoga videos for a variety of levels and disciplines to get you moving below.
Some of these are great to do before you ride (such as the pre ride warm up) while others can be a great cool down, or even performed at home on your day off, such as our injury prevention videos.
FEI + MBV Playlist here.
We love how much emphasis Luciana places on the importance of breathwork. One of our favourite breathing exercises we teach our equestrian students is “box breathing”. You may have heard of this popular breathing exercise that helps to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain while calming the mind.
You can try this at home by simply counting your in and out breath each for a count of 4, with a pause between each also for a count of four. To follow along and further explanation with MBV check out this video: Meditation with Mind Body Vault.
For those who are ready to commit to a lifestyle of health and fitness, MBV’s subscription programme includes access to all of their video content we produce, including live workouts each week as well as bonus content such as nutrition and cooking inspiration for you and your horse. Click here for more. Make sure to follow MBV on Instagram too.
Images of Mari & Ali: Stephanie Gee