Friday, April 15, 2011

Cesar's Way


My dog's obsession is his bone that he will chew on until he kills it.

My new obsession is my dog.  I rush home from work so we can go on a walk together and have time to practice what I've been learning from Cesar Milan's DVD.  Harrison and I are both benefiting from Cesar's teachings on dog psychology and behavior.   

As Cesar's DVD teaches me tricks to snap a dog out of his obsessions that are bad for him or us, I constantly see new and improved ways that I can calmly and assertively train my junior high school students.  Okay, okay dogs-- kids not the same.  But Cesar's Way is all about calm, assertive energy that redirects the canine when s/he is not focusing on the right thing.

My favorite part of this training is learning that dogs when they walk following a pack leader, their ears are back, they are submissive and are in a open mind zone.  They clear their mind and all stress, anxiety, defensive nature goes away so that they can just follow.  This is the same as a person in a good Yoga class, is it not?  I love knowing that when I calmly, assertively take Harrison on a walk that he is in a Yoga zone. 

So I've been thinking about how I can translate this training to the classroom with 20-30 Jr. High students.  I can't put them on a leash, but I can use calm, assertive energy and practice some Yoga techniques with them.  I have taught them a relaxation exercise and after that lesson my students always beg me to do it again and again.  They tell me that they never learned how to relax or quiet their mind and they see the benefits right away.

I hope some day I am able to teach more ways to bring peace into their lives.  And one way I hope to do this is by creating a calm but fun classroom where students know their boundaries and I can find tricks that refocus them quickly just like a quick harmless yank on the leash redirects Harrison.

If you have any Yogic redirecting tricks for kids or dogs, let me know.

Lots of love, light and calm, assertive energy to you.

--Yoga Girl

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A letter from Swami Cat

Dear Yogis and Yoginis,

Thank you for your letters.  I understand that some of you want to know a little bit about my daily routine.  Do I wake and do Asanas and Pranayama?  But of course.  Meditation-- every day.  Twice daily if I can fit it into my night time schedule, if not just a little on my bed before I take my nightly catnap.

The day is busy full of responding to emails, writing my book of Yogic Lessons from the Liter Box, working on editing the Inside the Yoga Studio: Swami Cat Yoga Interviews, and consulting with other animals that wish to follow the Yogic lifestyle.  There are many.

Have you noticed that when you do your Yoga practices outside there are animals paying attention?  They are looking for some peace and the ability to rest in meditation as well, I assure you.  It is not as easy for the wild animals.  Those poor souls must always be on the lookout for a predator or an encroaching construction tractor that they have lost their instinctive ability to be at peace.

Just recently I had a call from a squirrel that doesn't know why the humans are so upset with her.  She couldn't see their point of view.  After a few sessions of Yoga Nidra we spoke about the human's desire to feed the birds and see their pretty colors and so she discontinued her attack of the bird feeder and resumed her search for acorns.  Another happy soul.

Often I am faced with a challenge that even I can not handle calmly right away.  Just recently the home where I reside, with Yoga Girl has had an invader.  Yes, Yoga Girl did invite him in, but I was not consulted.  This creature is of a loving nature but has not had proper Yogic training.  I am taking upon myself to teach him to stop licking certain parts of his body early in the morning and focus more on his downward dog stretches that he does quite well.  He is a very willing student but he is of the species of animals that does not listen well to cats, so I am sometimes met with a growl.  Luckily the growling subsides quickly when I show him that I have the doggy treats in my paw.

I'll keep you updated on Yoga Dog's progress.

Please let me know if you are having any problems with your animals or your Yogic practice.  I am here to serve.

With much love, light and purring.

Swami Cat