Aging with Wisdom and Grace

Last weekend I attended the remembrance celebration of a woman I've known for almost 30 years. She passed away just days shy of her 99th birthday, so the gathering was truly celebratory. The eulogy given by her granddaughter highlighted Gloria's joyful approach to life. But you don't live nearly a century without encountering significant challenges. Her granddaughter gently reminded us of that, also reflecting upon Gloria's extraordinary ability to adapt and modify when confronted with life's inevitable speed bumps. She didn't stall out, but from an honest awareness of her shifting abilities she moved forward with grace and determination. Of all the reflections shared, the resiliency Gloria demonstrated throughout her life has been doggedly following me around for the past several days.

Lately I've been feeling stuck and frustrated. My pelvis and hip ache, my shoulder is bugging me, I need to be careful with what I eat and drink, my sleep patterns are erratic. These aches, pains and inconveniences have been getting me down... holding me back from practicing asana as I have so loved to do. I also haven't been able to hike, ski, garden or even stand in the kitchen cooking with the exuberance I have always defined myself by. I have been feeling old...


This is not to say that I haven't been actively pursuing the source of and exploring remedies for these ailments. But what I had hoped would be easily resolved, remains chronic and somewhat of a mystery. As the months have gone by, I have found myself slipping into a sense of lack and anxiety. I have been operating from the premise that my body would always be willing to do what I wanted it to do, no questions asked. Hey, I have been diligently practicing and studying yoga for over 30 years... shouldn't that make me immune from the effects of aging? Well, we all know the answer to that question.


If the past three decades on my sticky mat have taught me anything, it is that perseverance and patience do eventually pay off. That the journey of self discovery yoga offers us is not always easy or pretty. And to keep us interested and awake, the path is constantly changing it's topography and direction, offering up new landscapes to explore. But currently I have found myself in truly unfamiliar territory, terrain that feels to be characterized more by limitation than potential. While trying to regain my bearings, I have become keenly aware of how attached I have been to the landscape I used to inhabit. I have been reluctant to acknowledge that the seasonal landscape of my life, of my yoga, is shifting.


As I sat listening to my friend Gloria's eulogy recount how she embraced the natural arch of her life with determination, I came to the realization that I am actually in the presence of that resiliency daily. Every student who walks through Two Dog Yoga's door is demonstrating our human potential to move beyond perceived boundaries, to embrace the richness of the landscape ahead. I am in awe of all the courageous warriors and explorers who consistently show up on their mats. In every class I teach, I am surrounded by folks who exude those strong and spirited attributes that help us to greet life's obstacles with wisdom and grace. When we gather together, we support each other's journey.


To my Two Dog Community, I offer a deep bow of gratitude and appreciation in helping me to remember to adapt and modify, and most importantly to enjoy.

It is all of you that are my teachers. May you all be blessed with a joyous heart and a peaceful mind.


Wendy Groesbeck



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Two Dog Tales

Enjoy these highlights from the Two Dog e-newsletter and other writings contributed by and about Two Doggers over the years. It's a story archive that tells the tale of the Two Dog community: its teachers, students, neighbors and friends.

Seva at Two Dog
by Annie Stocker
The volunteer, giving back to community, that Two Dog supports

Therapeutic Yoga: Annie's Journey
by Annie Stocker

Annie's journey to discover the benefits of yoga and the Therapeutic offerings at Two Dog
Three villages: Beloved Communities
by Annie Stocker
Yelapa in Mexico, Vaidyagrama in India, and Lake City in Seattle

Gratitude Flows Over at Two Dog
by Annie Stocker

Unexpected sources of Gratitude

Generosity of Two Dog Community
by Annie Stocker
Two Dog Generous community
Annie's Om From Home
by Annie Stocker
How Annie found her voice
Mothers and Daughters at Two Dog
by Valerie Sasson

Sharing the experience of sore muscles on Sunday mornings

A Dog A Day?
by Roxi Smith
A home-practice story shared by a long-time Two Dogger
Turning the Kaleidoscope: Bringing Things to Light
by Sarahjoy Marsh
Bringing awareness to the ever-shifting materials of our inner kaleidoscope
A Year's Journey
by Shannon McCall
The story of a milestone year in the life of one Two Dog teacher
The Two Dogger Next Door
by Jan Mikus
Read about the life and healing experience of a studio regular

To Plan or Not To Plan
by Sarahjoy Marsh

A reflection on how much our habits press on our thoughts, actions, reactions
The Space in Between
by Wendy Groesbeck
What are we really asking for when we want more time in our lives?
Why "Two Dog"
by Annie Stocker

Musing on the name of the studio

Favorite Poses
by Two Dog Teachers

Wendy, Annie and Shannon reflect on their favorite poses

Teen Kumbha
by Annie Stocker

A mother/son yoga experience

About Gentle Yoga and Me
by Bob Scheu

Coming into yoga in the best possible way

Yoga- Another Universe?
by Jack Davis

How Yoga made me a better person

Curve Balls and Fowl Balls
by Annie Stocker

Sometimes things happen

by Shannon McCall


What Yoga Means to Me
by Two Dog Students

Coming Home
by Annie Stocker
Returning from Sri Lanka
Healing in Kerala
by Annie Stocker
A story of healing
Loving Lake City
by Annie Stocker
Reflection of a spring evening in Lake City


Lovin' Lake City

Annie Stocker, Two Dog studio owner, has lived in Lake City since 1986 and feels a warm kinship with the ever-emerging neighborhood. Two Dog students bump into each other at local restaurants, the Lake City Farmers Market, the local hardware store, post office, parks and restaurants. More and more people now make Lake City their permanent home in which to grow their families and friendships. Two Dog is proud to be a part of the growth of this healthy, thriving community. Come explore!


Douglas Park Cooperative Families for Lake City
KaffeeKlatsch Cafe Lake City Branch Public Library
North Seattle Chamber of Commerce Lake City Community Center
Lake City Farmers Market Lake City Greenways
Lake City Live: Blog Lake City Traffic Safety Project
North Helpline Pinehurst Community Blog
Hunger Intervention Program Jamtown Drum School










Two qualities of life that we sometimes give low priority to are surrounding ourselves with beauty and developing community. These are being practiced at Two Dog Yoga studio. The gorgeous unfolding lotus mural secures the room where yoga, singing, dancing, eating, talking and more are offered with open arms to the Lake City neighborhood.
— Cynthia Lair, author of Feeding the Whole Family 



Two Dog Yoga is a compassionate, supportive and nonjudgmental community of teachers and students which has benefitted me in ways I did not expect. I have been able to apply these experiences when I am off the mat to enhance my life as well as help me cope with everything from day-to-day stresses to more difficult times of loss and grief.
—Jodi McClain, Educational Audiologist
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