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Yoga and ponies bring unique meditation at Palmerton farm

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    Delia Apollo and Roxanne Nery meditate with ponies Peanut and Elmo. Apollo Farms offered a special event featuring guided meditation with ponies and yoga on Saturday. BRIAN W. MYSZKOWSKI/TIMES NEWS

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    Heather Lake guides the yoga class at Apollo Farms on Saturday morning.

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    Apollo Farms owner Delia Apollo and her daughter Elliena, 10, with their jumping horse, Believe.

Published June 10. 2018 07:35AM

Yoga and meditation enthusiasts got a chance to center themselves with the help of horses at Apollo Farms on Saturday.

As part of a summer series of special events, the farm hosted a special event over the weekend, where those interested in balancing their minds and bodies could do so in an idyllic setting, complete with ponies.

“What we’re doing is, we’re trying to bring the public out and really promote yoga, meditation, and self-awareness, real mindfulness. We feel like with all the events we’ve been having we’re setting up a kind of mental gym, where you can relax, slow everything down,” owner Delia Apollo said.

“We have yoga under the apple tree, and then we’re going to have meditation with the ponies. It’s just a really different way of people connecting with themselves and training their bodies and their minds at the same time.”

The farm provides an idyllic backdrop for the sessions. Tucked away on Summer Mountain Road in Palmerton, the serene grounds provide a relaxed, harmonious atmosphere, ideal for those looking to practice physical and mental fitness techniques.

A warm, sunny morning offered the perfect atmosphere for those interested in practicing their warrior and pyramid poses beneath a beautiful apple tree. Out in the open field, a gentle breeze set the stage for a peaceful meditation.

Guided meditation instructor Roxanne Nery said that the ponies themselves play an important part in her session, where they roam freely as students are led through their mental exercises.

“I think with their presence, you can actually get in touch with what they’re doing,” Nery said.

“They’re just being nature, you know? And we’ve forgotten nature because of the everyday grind of what we do every day and all day. I think being in nature, of stepping back and seeing it, it’s just part of the meditative process. It’s a nice background, it helps people to focus on the nature side of it.”

Delia’s daughter Elliena, following in her mother’s footsteps, was excited to join the classes as well.

“I love the horses, and I love to be surrounded by them, so doing another activity with them would be really great,” she said.

Elliena was particularly interested in the guided meditation, where she said the horses could help her on her journey.

“I think that’s a really good activity, and I definitely want to do it because my grandmother always tells me to do meditation, and I always do it in my room, but it’s really hard for me to focus. With my friends beside me, I can do it a little easier,” she said.

Apollo said that the idea for the yoga and meditation event came from a visit to the Wellington Equestrian Festival.

“One of my friends, Becky Gochman, she had a whole village set up for health awareness right there at the horse show. Right after that experience, I came home and I thought about how I could combine health and wellness with the horses, so that it’s accessible to everybody, not just horse people,” she said.

Once she trotted out the idea of yoga with ponies, the response was so great, it inspired Apollo to set up additional sessions, including one on July 15 and another on Aug. 4.

Next year, Apollo plans to expand the programs into full-on retreats with well-known instructors, including experts on advanced isolated stretching, teaching sessions throughout a weekend on the farm.

Apollo hopes that more events like this will help people embrace the ideologies of meditation, yoga and other practices to help improve their lives.

“What makes us different is that we’re using the peacefulness and centeredness of the horses to help bring people to a place of self awareness. The horses themselves have a majestic nature, and when people tap into that, it really transforms their lives. It helps them slow down, and see things in a different light,” she said.

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