Asanas and Animals - My Dogs Spend the Entire Day Meditating
One of my first yoga teachers told me that dogs spend the entire day meditating. That seemed like a strange comment at the time, and I didn't really understand it. But I wanted to seem like an enlightened yoga student, so I gave him my most contemplative look and nodded my head in agreement, utterly dumbfounded. I forgot about that comment for a long time, until recently, during a discussion on meditation practices at YogaLife. That seemingly indecipherable comment took on an entirely different meaning.
I am the proud pet-parent of three rescue dogs. I consider my stewardship of their lives to be a great privilege. And as I watch my husky mix, Little Luna, stare out the window, completely immersed in her surroundings and entirely in the present moment, I must acknowledge - dogs spend the entire day meditating.
Each of my dogs has a unique back story on how they ended in the tutelage of my husband and I. Most aspects of those back stories are quite sad - part and parcel of being a rescue dog, I suppose. But they don't let their back stories define their present moment. They don't ask for my pity, but rather, for my love, not to mention a good bowl of food, a warm bed, and a scratch behind the ear. I happily oblige them.
I learn so much from my dogs every day about love, patience, and living in the present moment. They've taught me about forgiveness and letting go of grudges. They remind me to be grateful for the here and now, and not worry so much about what's to come. By being dogs, they make me a better human.
I invite you to join me at YogaLife for a Power Yoga practice on July 21st to support the efforts of S&L Animal Rescue, an amazing organization that rescues dogs from high-kill shelters and brings them to New Jersey, where they find their forever homes. I adopted my beagle-mix, Mercy Lou (see photo), from S&L, and for that I am forever in their debt.
I look forward to seeing you on the mat.
Marissa McAleer, RYT