Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Daily Yoga Practice

My office is a beautiful outdoor area surrounded by cedar trees and filled with wildlife. I spend my days with as many as 20 dogs in my office - this is a job I cherish. My self-imposed job description includes providing the dogs in my care with a quality experience through exercise, socializing and training. The most important part of my job is being a compassionate leader for my temporary daycare pack. If they do not look to me for and receive leadership the result would be chaos. In order to fulfill this role I draw from what might seem an unlikely source, my yoga practice. The dogs help me to understand the importance of clear intention and being completely present in each moment. This is the way they live and this is the way I communicate with them. I practice yoga every day with the dogs by watching my breath, posture and intention so that my confident leadership ability is evident. Dogs are keen observers of human behavior and these subtle cues mean a great deal to them. In the evening, I roll out my yoga mat and practice traditional poses. The dogs are not invited to this private session. My oldest animal companion is a 20 year old calico cat named Quita. Her geriatric body is thin, and what used to be a thick long haired coat is now sparse and tattered looking. Given her medical issues, I am amazed that she is still with me. She has a strained look in her eye of an old being holding out for some final mission. Quita hobbles from her bed to take care of essentials of living and not much more - until I roll my yoga mat. As I start my practice, Quita crawls out of her bed over to the mat and quietly sits by my side. As I begin to move through a series of poses, she curls up on the edge of the mat leaving me enough space to continue my session. This cat has spent more time with me than any other living soul. She knows me much better than I know her or myself. Her presence on the mat indicates she wants to be a part of this open, balanced flow of energy. Perhaps she doesn’t want to leave me until she is certain I know how to maintain balance. On nights that I am particularly worried about crazy things that don’t really matter at all, she will hobble across the room and drag herself onto my bed. Her purring has an ancient, sporadic sound to it as she rubs her head forcefully against mine. She is telling me that the yoga mat is where it’s at. When Quita does leave her physical body I will always know where to find her. Quita 1987 - Dec 5, 2007

1 comment:

michael said...

I am truly thankful for your loyalty quita & know how special you are too needy animals without a doubt including a 2-toned blk&wht kitty nic-named broken-tail (without your knowledge of course);and how can I forget the day you rescued a calico baby no larger than your palm and spent that whole evening combing fleas out of her fur and grooming her from her toxic existance on irving street,its no wonder quita has survived so long amidst aii changes and the traveling she has always been coddled and loved...who could ask for more?