Upward Facing Dog on My Mat

We celebrated our daughter’s 16th birthday today with a hayride, pumpkin picking, caramel apple making, and dinner at Benihana.  So, I got back too late to go to my usual Sunday night Yin class.  After I digested, however, it seemed like a pretty good opportunity for a gentle home practice, and my younger (10) daughter was looking at a loss about what to do, so I invited her to join me – which was good, because it made me less self-conscious about speaking through the poses.

We started with a short seated meditation.  At this point, one of our dogs, Indy, placed herself squarely on my mat in a lovely sphinx pose.  After physically removing her from the mat, I settled back in.  Within seconds, she was on my daughter’s mat, laying on her legs during our meditation.  Hmmm…

From the seated position, we moved into a warm-up consisting of a variety of seated stretches and twists, moving into cat-cow, and finishing by coming up through Adho Mukha Svanasana into a standing position (Tadasana).  Since there was still a dog on the mat, I took advantage of the moment to ask my “student” what had worked for her in the warm-up and what didn’t work so well.  She gave me a little constructive feedback, and then we shooed the dog away and got ready to do a step back flow.

At this point, we proceeded into a step back flow consisting of:

  • Tadasana
  • Udhva Hastasana
  • Uttanasana
  • Ardha Uttanasana
  • Lunge
  • Lunge with chest lifted
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Plank
  • Asta Pranam
  • Bhujangasana
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Lifted foot
  • Lunge
  • Lunge with chest lifted
  • Uttanasana
  • Urdha Hastasana
  • Tadasana

We got through 2 series of flows (on each side), but not without some trials and tribulations, primarily related to a dog that WOULD NOT move.  I mean this animal was seriously plastered to the mat. She did not even care when my daughter was actually in Bhujangasana on top of her, she didn’t move.  And our attempts to move were for naught, as she only followed us.  It was funny, but maybe not quite the centered experienced we were going for : )  Besides the dog, my biggest challenge was to fit everything I needed to say into the space of a breath.  Whew!

After the flows, we quickly moved back to a meditative seat, as that seemed like the best option with our little helper on the mat.  We spent about 10 minutes in a cross-legged seat, concentrating on the flow of the breath.  This apparently worked well for at least the dog, who looked almost comatose by the time we finished.

All in all, maybe it wasn’t the best home practice I’ve had, but it was one, and it was nice.  I’m hoping to fit at least one more in this week with my studio classes and other obligations – maybe not including the dog or child!



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3 Responses to Upward Facing Dog on My Mat

  1. Derek says:

    Sounds more like downward pestering sleeping dog at the end.

  2. theveganasana says:

    I guess I need to check the Sanskrit for that.

  3. Erik says:

    I have also found that my cat loves it when I practice at home. During asana practice, he’s always under my torso, or trying to get onto my lap. During seated meditation, he’s not on me, but off to the side, just a few inches away, eyes closed, meditating on his Uja-purr breath. 🙂

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