Two Dog Tales
A Dog A Day
A home practice story by long-time Two Dogger, Roxi Smith
From the Mid-January 2013 Two Dog Newsletter
Four years ago I attended a well-planned and inspiring “Home Practice” workshop, taught by Amy Metzendorf, a gifted young teacher at Two Dog. Though Amy has since moved on to other climes, she left me with one singularly motivating thought about building a home practice: “Even one downward dog a day makes a difference.”
I must confess – it’s taken me most of the four years since that class with Amy to actually build a home practice. I didn’t have the time, I’m not a morning person, etc., etc. But recently when I was making some changes in my morning routine, I decided to include a little yoga. After about a month it suddenly dawned on me: “Hey, I have a home yoga practice!”
One of the keys to my clueless success was that I only do 10 to 20 minutes of yoga most mornings. While I know that an hour and 10 to 20 minutes would be even more beneficial, that commitment is beyond by current level of willingness. But 10 to 20 minutes a day – that I can do and do consistently.
I always let my body be my guide. What will feel good this morning? Sometimes I only do cat-cow, prayer pose, Annie’s trademark opening sequence, and a downward dog. Other mornings I feel inspired to add some standing poses like Warrior 2, or Trikonasana. Though it’s not much, I can attest to the difference a dog a day can make!
My mood is elevated – I find myself smiling just a little more easily, feel a bit more patient at work, and feel generally more open to people. At my weekly Two Dog yoga class, I find I’m more fully able to embody my practice. I’m stronger, more resilient, and less up in my head.
But one of the most delightful benefits of my little home practice was completely unexpected: I have a new yoga buddy! When I get down on all fours, he shows up like clockwork, pulled in by some invisible force that only kitties can perceive. He walks under me, purring like a chainsaw, rubs against me, throws himself on the floor beneath me and ecstatically rolls around. When I trace an arc lightly from my fingertips to my toes, I skim my hand across his fur. When I drop down on my elbows inside my bent knee, I kiss him on the head.
Now most mornings, I invite my new yoga friend to join me, saying, “C’mon Cooper…time for yoga!” Come to think of it, I don’t know if it’s the dog a day that’s making my heart more light, or the cat a day I share it with. Either way, it’s all good.
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