What does walking the dog have to do with yoga?
For me, WTDY represents the Path of Truth. My name means Truth (Vèritè) and this is my path. I am sharing with you, my sweet sweet friends, the information that I've understood to be my truth. Please feel free to email me, as other readers often do , to share your own insights and inner truths with us all if you feel it floats in a similar flight.
Because in downward facing dog posture, adho mukha svanasana, a position even non-yogis are familiar with, there comes a time when it feels so nice to alternately peddle your feet. Twist the waist gently, shifting balance from side to side. Evaluating your energetic flow. Stretching out that whole back leg, from the bottom of that open sole (open soul?), through the firmly grounded heel up through that hamstring into the sides, the entire torso….extension extension…ahhh… Its yummy and we all do it. And if you don’t you should try it. This peddling action is often referred to as ‘walking the dog’ in yoga. So we are sort of moving the downward dog around a bit, taking the dog for a walk. Feeling around for any new, interesting, or tight sensations in your bodyvessel. Moving the yoga experience a bit more, taking it off the mat, taking it for a walk. Making it your own.
Because we NEED EVERYONE, from all WALKS of life to bring their power home. For the benefit of the collective.
Because YOGA, in its truest sense means ‘yoke’ or ‘union’, ‘pulling together’ ‘harnessing’. That is what I encourage you to do. Pull the best parts of you together, in a way that works for you, in your own life, and if you like, share it with us all. Yoke in your skills, listen to your own inner knowledge, follow your intuition and unveil your most luminous ‘sattva’ self. You are here for a reason, remember? Now dig deep and let’s let your spirit soar.
Because in life we often walk along several different paths and they ALL lead home, back to you. So in a sense the 'yoking' we are doing, the yoga we do is the work that we are here to do throughout our delicious lives. The purpose is in the experience.
Because the eight limbs* of yoga according to the Sūtras of Patañjali are interactive and dynamic and develop in parallel with one another. Much like the limbs of an animal - say, a dog perhaps : ) - the eight components of the yoga program work together in unison, simultaneously moving your ever outward and deeper inward. Like clear streams leading to a running river. Capillaries and veins leading to the heart. Roots to a wise and steady well nourished plant. Sow your own roots. Dig deep. Inspect and Explore. * external discipline, internal discipline, posture, breath regulation, concentration, meditative absorption, and integration.
Because it (living life with your deepest intention at heart and practice or ABHYASA) needs to be done every day. It is a daily ritual. Just like brushing your teeth, or yep, you guessed it....walking the dog.
Because DOG is representative of the animal kingdom and commonly referred to as man's best friend. You love and trust your best friend. As do they love and trust you. And the animal kingdom lives very closely tuned in to The Natural Kingdom, The Mineral Kingdom and The Spirit Kingdom. They exist harmoniously living alongside one another. They KNOW how to live, what they are, how to be. They don’t ask why am I an antelope? They just know that they are what they are. It’s only us that gave them the name of antelope. Otherwise to themselves, they are simply living. In the moment. Aware of only Now. They come into this world as deer and they act like deer. They arrive as a tree and they are tree. They come as the wind or the wave and they are the wind and the wave. What does arriving as a human being mean? How does a human being act? How does a newly arrived angelchild on this earth act? Turn to a dog for guidance, or any other creation in the animal, mineral, plant kingdom realm for that matter and just WATCH IT BE. As it is.
Because dog is god backwards. Walk as God Yoga, Your inner god, Your indwelling god/goddess. You. The creator.
Most of my inspiration comes to me when I am out walking the dog. The beauty of nature, the sounds, the scents, the feels. It’s totally intoxicating. I normally do yoga, then meditate then shower, then walk the dog. In that order. Virtually every day. When I am out and about with Bubba after this morning ritual, I am on full receptive mode. I am fully alert and sensitised. Highly engaged and deeply at peace. It is then that I have conversations with myself and with the others. I listen a lot. I receive information. I don’t always know what to do with this information but I know I am receiving it to share most of the time. And all of the time to learn from it. It is assistance. Guidance if you will. I can’t always make out the message clearly but there is definitely always a message coming through. LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE. LISTEN TO THAT VOICE IN YOUR HEAD. IT'S TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING. TRYING TO HELP YOU. It is - and you are - most definitely not crazy.
My dog is a true yogi sage and my cat, a Zen master. My dog almost even looks like Yoda and my cat has Yoda's big hairy ears. Okay, so Yoda was a Jedi Master, same thing.They are both very wise and I, along with my husband are honoured to be their human companions. They have chosen wisely. We are good students. It is our sheer pleasure to observe and learn from their example. We have a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and he is the best. Bully breeds have a reputation for being aggressive and violent. Yet all bully owners know the truth. These dogs are LOVERS not fighters. They have come to teach love - not fear. Like any other living breathing organism, you can raise with love or you can raise with fear. The difference will be result in living in love or dying in fear.
Because it made sense. Taking this beauty and sacred space (grace space) that I return to daily during my yoga/meditation practice then afterwards out into the natural world on our walk is the perfect canvas, or playing field if you will, for me to mentally and emotionally and physically watercolour the messages I receive. It’s like entering a field of potential. Some ideas come to meet me, like a curious dragonfly, then zip away. Others grab hold of me, strike me, and often stop me in my tracks with the sheer force of their significance. What will happen is the wind will pick up, the leaves in the trees will rustle a lot louder singing it out for me, an object will suddenly catch my eye. A stone, a feather, a change in temperature. Any of these things and all of these things together amplify the extraordinary feeling of being alive and remind me of the reason for living. It was like taking the dog out for a walk and doing yoga. So Walk The Dog Yoga.