Think all yogis are human. Think again. ~~ from 'Best Friends Magazine'
Thanks to Cel Hope from Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter, my friend who cherishes the little 4-legged creatures as much as I do, who recently gave me a terrific article on "Animal Zen" with fantastic animal Yoga pose photos (September/October 2013 issue of BEST FRIENDS MAGAZINE) ~~ Ahhhh I THOUGHT !! ~~ PERFECT for my next blog ~ !!
How great is it that we remind ourselves that our "best" friends and other little creatures we observe in nature can teach us about the importance of relaxation and awareness practices in our daily lives.
Buddy, my little 11-1/2 year old Maltese and my best friend for almost 12 years is a prime example! As I sit here typing away on this blog, Buddy is relaxing (in 'Child Pose') right at the doorway of my home office. He will not miss a moment (VERY MINDFUL!), and he will follow close behind me when I leave "my space", even to the bathroom. AHHHHH ~~ best friend, keeping tabs on me throughout the day.
I notice every morning, as we start our day, how Buddy bends ~~ twists ~~ and stretches ~~ right into Downward Dog! Then he continues his early morning "Yoga practice" with more stretching ~~ Upward Dog, Puppy Pose, Hunting Dog, 'Galloping Happy Dog', Warrior Poses galore ~~ and OF COURSE ~ his own perfect version of Savasana at the end of a long day! (better known as 'Pet My Stomach Pose' at our place:-)))
There has been much research recently on the health and wellbeing of pet owners versus those who do not have pets in their lives. Some of those studies have found that pet owners overall make fewer visits to their doctors, have lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Of course, there may be other contributing factors to consider, but at any rate, what I know is that my little Buddy keeps me sane, when all else appears to be completely chaotic in my life. He is there for me at all times, providing not only company, but licking my tears away, settling next to me when I meditate (I am SURE he is meditating too!), doing his Downward Dog as I practice my early morning asanas (poses). He always is strutting ahead of our Dog and Cat Shelter "gal" Tika on our walks, leading the way in his own "Warrior" manner.
I am definitely better off physically, emotionally, mindfully, and no doubt spiritually because of my little Buddy!
In practicing mindful awareness, we learn to accept both our pleasant and unpleasant daily experiences, through time well spent in our formal meditative moments. Word of wisdom from John Kabat-Zinn: "Since you have moments to live, why not live them completely, and find out what it might mean to be true more of the time to your own deepest, most authentic nature."
I have learned so much from my dear Buddy, who brings me such a special gift of unconditional love ~ he is truly also one of my best teachers.
OFF TO WALK MY KIDS ~~ Blessings & Peace to ALL ~~