I've been in a centered riding clinic this weekend, as our warm-up for cowgirl yoga kick-off which begins this evening...and I've been reminded what an ongoing process finding your center is, regardless of the activity. Making sure we are grounded and relaxed comes from the center of our body's energy, our core, and everything else follows from there. If we are all knotted up in our center, the rest of our body will follow that cue. We often talk about strengthening our core and work with that type of more aggressive energy - the real challenge is to maintain that strength while simultaneously finding balance and release, in order to permit flexibility and fluidity. Centering yourself in the saddle or on the mat requires body awareness that you have to constantly check in on. It's an ongoing process that isn't effortless. But the more we can cultivate this awareness, the easier it will become. When you feel stressed or ungrounded, make your center your starting point to begin to unravel the tension. Deepen your breathing so that it reaches your center. You can use this technique anywhere, anytime.