What Dogs can Teach Us About Yoga

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My dog often inspires my asana practice. He reminds me to live mindfully and savor the moment. There are so many things that he teaches me everyday that I am not sure I could have learned from a human. I feel lucky to have him living with me! It's a rare time that I roll out my yoga mat and he is not by my side (or even on the mat with me!). I have this list posted in office/yoga space - someone passed it along to me and I am sharing it with you followed by a sequence inspired by my pup! He truly teaches me daily how to live my yoga.

If a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back in the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal. Never pretend you’re something you are not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Be always grateful for each new day and for the blessings of you.

Dog is Love Sequence
  • Sukhasana (Easy Seated Position)
  • Gently fold forward in Sukhasana. Allow the breath to move into the back body and settle onto the mat.
  • Switch the leg that is in front and repeat the forward fold.
  • Balasana practice with toes together and knees apart (Wide Legged Child's Pose) 1-3 minute hold
  • Ardha Adho Mukha Svavasana (Half Down Dog) On the knees with hips lifted and arms forward as in down dog. 2-4 minutes
  • Chakravasana (Cat/Cow) with breath 2-3 minutes
  • Ardha Adho Mukha Svavasana with Twist (Half Down Dog with Twist) On knees with hips lifted and arms extended forward. Thread one arm underneath the other and lie that shoulder on the mat. 1-2 minutes each side.
  • Vajrasana (Thunderbold pose)
  • Adho Mukha Svavasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  • Plank -> Lower to Belly -> Lift to Bhujangasana (Cobra)
  • Adho Mukha Svavasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  • Repeat with breath 3-5 times.
  • Forward high lunge each side
  • Balancing forward high lunge (lifting the arms and reaching to the sky)
  • Balasana (Child's Pose)
  • Forearm Adho Mukha Svavasana -> lift each leg and hold for 3-5 breathes.
  • Ardha Adho Mukha Svavasana with Twist
  • Adho Mukha Svavasana (Down Dog) -> Balasana (child's pose)
  • Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
  • Savasana (Corpse Pose)
PS - The pup has been by my side as I type out this post - I think he knows I am writing about him!