Friday, May 18, 2007

Yoga and Animal Attraction

I have an on-again off-again yoga practice. I have for years, actually. When I was a kid back in the 70s, my mom used to take a lot of yoga classes and practice at home, so it was something often seen in my daily life. (Mom still does yoga on a regular basis, btw.) When I lived in Hawaii for grad school, I started to attend weekly Iyengar yoga classes held in a little white studio that was part of the Mo'ili'ili Community Center, behind the Down To Earth health food store on King Street. (This was in the days back before yoga got really trendy and yoga teachers could afford full-time studios for their classes.) For all the mellow early Saturday morning sunlight and plumeria scented breezes wafting in through the windows, the classes were quite kick ass.
My practice now is a do-it-myself at home affair. Sometimes I use DVDs or, more often , one of the Yogamazing podcasts. (I think I consider Chaz my yoga teacher at this point.) Unfortunately, it's been several months since I practiced with any regularity, probably since before we moved into the house. When I was still living in the apartment I would lay out my blue yoga mat and inevitably the dog would come over and lay down on it. I would shoo him away and start my practice. At various points, mostly when doing postures that involve lying on my back, the dog would amble over and stick his nose in my face, then try to lie down on the mat again when I got up to do standing postures. Eventually, he'd move off the mat but stay in the room to watch.
This morning I decided that I need to get back into a regular yoga practice. I've been sick this week and I can feel my body is kind of a mess and it needs some gentle straightening out. The dog is at the Girl's father's house at present, but this was the cat's first exposure to me doing yoga. For most of the morning the cat has been content to hang out and keep her distance from me for as I did some chores, read and what not. But once the yoga mat went down, I suddenly became quite irresistible. She was crawling over me, rubbing around me, purring at me, smooshing her face in my face and trying to find a good spot to settle down and sleep on me, which was impossible since I was not in any one position for any length of time that would accommodate one of her naps. She was finally able to happily curl up in my lap for a few minutes at the very end, as I was sitting cross-legged and taking a few final deep breaths. Now she's back at the other end of the couch, napping after such a big workout, I guess.

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