Friday, June 29, 2007

Music for Dog Yoga

dog 3: "1. Dream About Me - Moby
2. Stir It Up - Bob Marley
3. Daydream In Blue - I Monster
4. Voices From The Past (club version) - Ginkgo Garden
5. Beautiful Otherness - Bent
6. Jaia Ganesha - The Dum Dum Project
7. I Believe In You - Kylie Minogue
8. Rivers Of Babylon - The Melodians
9. Stay Human (Stereo Steambath Remix) - Michael Franti
10. Traveller (Kid Loco's Once Upon A Time In The East mix) - Talvin Singh
11. All Is Full Of Love - Bjork
12. Be Here Now - George Harrison
13. Redemption Song - Bob Marley
14. What Your Soul Sings - Massive Attack
This is a new play list I just made for my Yoga With Your Dog Class. We love music!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just "Be"

I started on a new chapter in my book this week and was inspired to bring new poses into my practice to include Honey and Gus. One I'm calling Barking Crow. The other I think I'll call Dog Riding Camel or maybe it should be Camel rides the Dog, I'll have to get back to you on that one : ) . I've been trying to decide which poses to include in the DVD. I will most likely do beginning postures for this one and later do another DVD with more advanced poses.

Currently my dogs are indulging in their latest warm weather hobby, "barking-at-innocent- people-walking-down-the-hill-to-the-beach." I've been working on "no bark." Barking at bad guys at the front door, good. Barking at mom pushing baby in stroller in front of the house, bad.
Anyway, I began my new classes this past week and I'm excited to begin a series of classes or seminars based on the chapters of my book. Not sure when that will come to fruition. Lot's going on.
Sometimes I need to take a lesson from my dogs on relaxing and being in the present, just allowing things to unfold. This is one of the many ways they help me out everyday. I hang out with them and absorb the way they are able to just "be." It's a wonderful thing.

Here's some pics from my latest class. Gus partnered w/ my friend Heather for this class.
She'd had a bad week and needed some dog love, so I invited her to class. Also note my brand spankin' new tattoo!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Barking Dogs

Barking Dogs

Every week in class, I learn new things. This week in class I had a student with a beautiful pit bull who barked continuously. He wanted to play. I wasn't sure what to do. Normally when a dog is being a dog in class, I just, well, let it be a dog in class. I mean really, what are you going to do? They are dogs, they are at times going to relish being a dog and do what they do. My dogs will sometimes walk away from the mat during a class to visit a neighboring dog or human. Ideally it's best if the dogs stay on the mat and quietly enjoy the practice side by side with their person. Yeah right, in a perfect world. That's the key! What our idea of a perfect world is different than what our dog's idea of a perfect world is. My perfect class is quiet, fun peaceful, dog and human working side by side towards a goal of health, relaxation and spiritual enlightenment. A dog's idea of a perfect class is different from mine. Maybe it varies from dog to dog just like human to human. Here's the other key-maybe in class, dog and human are occasionally able to converge and work towards a similar goal. Even if that goal is more subconscious and esoteric. For example, My goals as listed above: Fun, relaxation, learning. Dog's goal: sniffing, playing, treat at the end of class. Different on the conscious level? Yes. But our dogs work on a different plane than we do. I've watched how a relationship with a dog can change a person. While their conscious goals differ from ours. I believe that they work in their own way to help us connect to the part of our selves that we lose, focusing on the daily bullshit in our lives. The way they help us connect is basic, simple but at the same time deep and important. Our dogs bring out the part of us that is playful and loving and connected in that pure, open hearted way. This is the way we can converge our goals in class and not be concerned if on the outside we seem to be on headed in different directions. On the inside, where it counts we are on the same page with our dogs, we share that common goal to find joy, love and fun in life.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Dog Lessons

It's been a very busy week. A lot of teaching and learning, because I always learn when I teach. I also learn so much from my dogs everyday. Dogs are amazing creatures. The role they play in their short lives as gentle healers for their owners is special and unique. Each dog takes on a role in their lifetime to assist us in learning to open our hearts. I feel that even dogs that have a life or times of abuse, have sacrificed their well being in order for us to learn. Maybe it's through getting a rescue dog and teaching them how to love and trust again, learning these lessons ourselves as we work with them. It could be a news story that opens us up to deep feelings of compassion. Maybe the rescue worker at the shelter is learning something about patience, perseverance, hope and unconditional love from the dogs they take care of.

We also learn about fun and relaxation from our dogs. We learn about play, letting go, awareness, fully being present in the moment to enjoy that treat or lying in the sunshine. My relationship with my dogs brings me pure joy, I thank them everyday for being in my life.
Picture time! These pictures were taken for an NPR interview. The one on the left was used in a fitness magazine in Denmark.