Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that originated thousands of years ago to involve your mind, body, spirit soul and ... horse?
That's right, we said, horse.
Fine, so maybe the original yogis didn't anticipate an equine element, but after centuries of practicing, offshoots were to be expected -- weird and controversial as those offshoots might be.
Among the stranger forms of the meditative exercise is horse yoga -- practiced in The Doma India School established over 50 years ago in San Luis, Argentina. The school was founded by father and son Oscar and Cristobal Scarpati and works under the philosophy that respectful and non-violent horse-taming can establish a meaningful bond between man and bronco.
"The method is to tame the horse according to its nature, avoiding cause fear and pain, and by earning their trust and loyalty," according to the school's website. "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."
Forget downward dog, how about downward horse?
The Scarpati family considers horses to be sacred, and applies and develops their concepts on wild, traumatized or nervous horses.
Though The Doma India School preaches respect and care for the animals, horse yoga still sparks controversy as no one can conclusively say whether or not the horses feel at peace getting into yoga poses.