Sunday, September 8, 2019

Be Careful What You Wish For

Checking out the mares and the foals

It was not many years ago when my Dear friend Mikaela Vuorisalmi said that you should start to do yoga retreats with horses. She was about to cohost a retreat with horses and said that she feels that it is something that I should focus on. 

Going back a few years I was sitting at Sport Psychologist Anna Anderséns office in Kirkkonummi. We had been cooperating for a while through my Equine blog. Anna was coaching me and I was writing about our coaching sessions and about clinics and trainings that Anna was giving to horseback riders. We had decided that these were not psychologist / client meetings but rather fun meetings where we were talking about future dreams and trying to make sense of what I want to become and how I can develop my career with horses further. 

And to this day there is one conversation that sticks with me: 
"Well, I am just watching all this amazing women doing things with horses. People like Mia Kainulainen, Maria Fraser-Baggström, Annika Schulman and the likes of them." 

"Kia, you can also do amazing things with horses. Where should we begin?"

That was it. The fact that someone told me that you are actually able to do those things as well. That you are good as you are and you just need to start somewhere. 

Another stroke of luck was that I had an Amazing boss who fired me. One of the reasons was that we did not have enough work, but he also told me that I need to do something with horses. That he can see where my interest and passion lies.

So I did. I organized a few events at Peuramaa Horse that filled up as soon as they went out and then I started to work with Helsinki International Horse Show. For three years I organized an evening called Ladies Night there and it has been some of the most amazing and fun evenings that I have had the joy to experience. 

The rooms at Montevelho all have amazing views, balconies and outdoor showers. 

The newest living area. 

In 2017 I joined Horsexplore's and Kavioliitto's trip to El Bronco ranch in Hungary. There I met Mindfulness Guru Eeva Jaakonsalo for the second time in my life and we did a short mindfulness and yoga session on one of our days there. After that it slowly started to unfold and we had our first Mindfulness and Yoga retreat for riders in 2018 at Kekkolan Kartano in Mikkeli. In October 2018 I was working for Helsinki International Horse Show and met Portuguese Diogo from Monte Velho Equo-Resort through Horsexplore and their Finnish cooperator Riitta Kosonen. Horsexplore has already been combining yoga and riding for their Swedish customers for a while and they asked if I wanted to organize the first yoga and horseback riding trip to Portugal for Finnish customers together with them. 


In January 2019 I found myself in the most amazing scenery in Alentejo, Portugal, getting to know Monte Velho and making plans for the trip for May 2019. 

These pictures and videos are from the trip we had this May to Portugal. It was an amazing long weekend together and not only did we have the funniest group, but my childhood best friend Tiina Wright also joined me for this trip. So we got to ride together, spend time in the same room and even go for a long hack out one day with super Hack Master Cesare. 

The yoga was held outside by the swimming pool and in the mornings we started our sessions next to some of the horses grazing out on the fields. The sun was slowly warming our faces and the voices of the birds and the cows and the horses was just magical. At some point I just said that I was not really needed in the moment. All we could do was sit still and listen. 

We started our mornings here with the sun slowly starting to warm up our bodies. 

The birds and all the animals are just the finest form of meditation.

So what I am really trying to say is that sometimes it is good to sit still and listen. To listen to what your heart beats for, what your soul yearns for and where your thoughts flow naturally. Maybe take some help from professional coachs, write down your thoughts and hopes for the future and just go in the direction of your dreams. Even if it would be one step at a time (such as studying journalism), or writing my blog, or cooperating with Anna Andersén, or teaching horse back riding, or doing a yoga teacher training or just sitting in meditation it is all toward the right direction. It all leads to where you are meant to be and the focus becomes clearer and clearer. It is not always an easy path and you are constantly changing and evolving but at least on your death bead nobody can tell you (at least not yourself) that you did not life to your fullest or that during this lifetime you did not live up to exactly where you wanted to be. 

Here are some words borrowed from the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert:

"You can resist the seductions of grandiosity, blame and shame. You can support other people in their creative efforts acknowledging the truth that there is plenty of room for everyone. You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failure. You can battle your demons through therapy, recovery, prayer or humility instead of battling your gifts in part by realising that your demons were never the ones doing the work anyhow. You can believe that you are neither a slave to inspiration nor its master. But something far more interesting. Its partner. And that the two of you are working together towards something intriguing and worthwhile. You can live a long life making and doing really cool things the entire time. You might earn a living with your pursuits or you might not but you can recognise that this is not really the point. And at the end of your days you can thank creativity for having blessed you with a charmed, interesting and passionate existence."

Trying amazing 9 year old stallion Felix for the first time.

My friend from home asked me to get some pictures of the mirror since she wants to build them on her yard in Finland. 

Amazing Liisa Tirronen riding again for the first times after a break of 20 years.

One of the days in Montevelho we headed out for a hack with fantastic Cesare, a girl from Brussels, Tiina and me. We had so much fun and Tiina and me felt like we would be young girls again riding around in the forests in Inkoo. 

Getting ready to head out to see the foals.

Diogo really takes his time with the horses. 

Equador MLV. and Joao Torrao

Viimeisen päivän vietimme aamujoogan ja ratsastusten jälkeen kauniissa Evoran kylässä. Söimme maittavan lounaan ja katselimme nähtävyyksiä, jonka jälkeen lähdimme lentokentälle. Siellä odotimme sitten iltakonetta kotiin. Kiitos kaikille osallistujille. Tämä oli ensimmäinen jooga ja ratsastus-retriitti jossa sain olla mukana ohjaajan ominaisuudessa ulkomailla. Seuraava retriitti on parin viikon päästä Puolassa ja jälleen keväällä upeassa Equoresortissa. Kiitos myös Riitta Kosonen ja Horsexplore tästä mahdollisuudesta. 

Mia Lönnroth soittaa kotiin.:) 

Kotona Jack vietti aikaa mökillä Dahlblomin perheen kanssa. Aina yhtä ihanaa saada kuvia reissuun, kun koira on näin onnellinen ja voi niin hyvin. 

More on my travels can be found under travel stories in my blog. 
Also read the story from our last trip to Montevelho here

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