The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yoga For Kitties Sweeping The Nation!

This isn't a photograph of one of my cats, but they do yoga on their own all the time.
Backbends, Mountain, Meat Loaf (the rock),
Scaredy-Cat and Cow, even Plank and a variation on Down Dog.
I've even seen my kits do a nice Sunbird.

They're much better practitioners than I am, but I'm a sincere student of their lessons.
When they stretch out from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, I take note, and try to replicate in my own fashion.
It feels great!

Cats really like yoga.

A few summers ago I visited my aunt in California. She lives in a gorgeous enclosed community surrounded by a heavenly garden--in fact, the community is really one heavenly garden with condos interspersed.

One morning, when I was practicing outdoors, I opened my eyes to find a cat beneath my Down Dog, crouched in "meat loaf", just chillin.
A true California cat.
He was wearing a big black spiked collar, very punk, and I had to stifle a laugh...didn't want to embarrass him because it was clear he took himself seriously.
I came out of down dog and did some Warriors, which he seemed to admire, as he got up to rub against my legs, gazing up at me.
He eventually wandered away to stare moodily into the Koi pond, switching his tail like the Master's fly switch.

My old cat Mumbles loved to do yoga with me.
She also used my mat as a scratching post--at the time, it bothered me, so I rolled it up and hid it from her, but now that she's gone I love those places where she sharpened her claws.

One afternoon she came in silently while one of my clients and I were in Savasana. We were deeply relaxed, warm and peaceful after our hour of asanas.
When my client giggled, I looked over to see Mumbles delicately smelling her eyelids. She smelled her nose and then forehead.
Not wanting to neglect me, Mumbles came over to lie on my belly, first testing gingerly with one paw, then another, until all 21 pounds of her had stretched out!
The Fat Cat Peace Treatment.

Other times, I would open my eyes to find her at the foot of my mountain, completely satisfied with her pose.
In meditation, she was fond of lying beside me and placing one paw on my leg or foot.
And if I opened one eye to sneak a look at her, she was always gazing at me through half closed eyes.
Now THAT was the Lion's Gaze and I had to call her Sensei!

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