I had just returned home from a yoga class and Porter greeted me at the door. He was calm, yet happy to see me and then all of a sudden he went into a play bow stretch, or for you yoga people, a downward dog. I watched him and suddenly held a hint of jealousy towards him. He did that stretch perfectly! Yet, I’m constantly trying to reposition and make sure I’m holding my body correctly.
As I watched him the rest of the night more epiphanies started to occur and the final conclusion was: My dog is a yogi.
So there’s the stretching. He’s amazing at it. He really stretches every party of his body out. And as I started to watch his stretches, I started to realize when he was doing them.
He always stretches first thing in the morning. He starts his day off by making sure every muscle is engaged. You should always stretch in the morning as it sets your body and mind up for a new adventure.
He stretches before we go outside. He resets his body and mind before going outdoors. He’s calming himself down, making sure he’s attuned to his body and then moving forward with the outdoor world.
He stretches when he’s stressed. He uses it as a stress relief.
He stretches when… well he pretty much stretches all the time. He’s constantly resetting his body and energy to focus on another matter close to a yogi’s heart:
He lives in the present.
Dogs, all of them, especially Porter, live for each moment in that moment. Dogs don’t consume themselves with the past. They live for each moment. They live fully. They live with vibrancy and pure bliss. They are absolutely and completely invoked in each moment in each day. Their happiness is the fact that they are present. All the time.
When I’m with Porter, I do tend to stay in the moment. He brings me complete joy and sometimes frustration, but he’s always so good at making sure my mindset is set in the present moment.
Porter breathes. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, we all breathe. But, Porter pays attention to his breaths. When he’s about to go to bed, or if he’s just relaxed, Porter takes big cleansing breaths. He sucks in as much oxygen as he can and he lets it go, loudly. He cleanses any anxiety, uncertainty or worries he has with those breaths. It’s all about the breath.
What’s wonderful is, when he starts doing this, it’s a reminder to me to breathe as well. I mimic his breathing until I’m relaxed and finding myself more present and aware of my body.
Everyday Porter wakes up grateful. Every night when I come home he’s grateful. Every time he climbs into his bed, he’s grateful. He’s grateful for his bones, he’s grateful for his bed, he’s grateful for pets and he’s grateful for a home.
You can see it in his actions, in his eyes, in the way he greets all of these things when he’s been away for a few days.
Seeing his gratitude reminds me of all the things that I take for granted and puts me in the mindset to be thankful for each day, each experience, each person that has shaped my life. After all, if my dog can be grateful for it all, I should be too.
My dog is a yogi. He’s never been to a class (although dog yoga, doga, is a thing), he’s never read a book, he’s never talked to another yogi. But he gets it all instinctively. Watching him changes my perspective on things and makes me realize there are some things that I should be doing differently.
Ok, so his reaction to squirrels isn’t the most yogi type reaction, but we can’t be perfect right?
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH