If you’ve ever taken a class with me via Zoom, at some point you probably noticed an adorable little ShihTzu stroll by, run by, lay down in front of the camera with a toy, or maybe even crawl into my lap while I teach. In his own little way, my sweet Furbaby Benny enjoys practicing yoga with his Momma. Now that we have snow and ice on the ground again, I always worry about Benny’s little paws. He won’t let me put boots on him, or anything to protect his paws before we go out. I’ve even tried rubbing coconut oil on them, but he likes the taste of it and licks it off before we can get outside.
This means my husband and I have to carry him outside (so he doesn’t walk on the salt-- it can burn dog’s paws) and place him where we know he will go. It takes less than 5 minutes before he starts shaking and refusing to move from his paws and legs being so cold. We then pick him up and carry him back inside. Even though he is clearly cold (and once or twice he’s screamed because he still accidentally picked up some salt in his paws) whenever he sees one of us bundling up, he runs to where we keep his sweaters and lets us know he is ready to rock and roll. He loves going outside, even though he has to remember how cold and miserable he gets... right? I think Benny instinctively knows that I’ve got his back, no matter what and that he doesn’t have to worry.
I’m still recovering from my knee surgery, and decided over the holidays to rearrange our living room furniture to try and make things easier for me to get up from and onto the floor. (I’m not graceful at all, so just be prepared-- hee hee). I decided to practice getting down and getting back up. After just one time, I was done. Benny was curious and excited to see everything on the floor. It’s been a few months since yoga cushions and bolsters have been out for him to crawl around on.
I waited a while and then decided to try again. I got down but was really struggling to get up, and my hubby wasn’t home. I decided to just sit a bit. Benny came over and crawled into my lap like he does in class. I think he was trying to tell me that he had my back, no matter what and I don’t have to worry.
It made me think. His attitude is always the same when it’s time to go outside. He’s always excited. It doesn’t matter that he knows now that it's cold. It doesn’t matter when it’s raining. He acts the same as if it were a beautiful, warm day. I realized that sometimes, you have to just go for it. So, I got up. It wasn’t graceful, but it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. AHA! I was doing that anticipation thing again! It’s like Sat Kartar’s statement to me during teacher training: “TRY. Then modify.”
Is there something you’ve been wanting to try, but you’ve been hesitant? Is there a kriya that you’ve avoided in your personal practice because it may be too challenging? It may be that is the very kriya you should try to tackle. Sometimes the anticipation of “failure” keeps us from achieving success. I encourage you to challenge yourself this year on your mat. It helps us be maybe a little braver to accept challenges off the mat. And remember, your teachers have your back, no matter what, and you don’t have to worry.