Ki Moments Blog

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Downward Dog and Playful Puppy: Many Paths to Center

Downward Dog and Playful Puppy: Many Paths to Center


By Tracie Shroyer

It was a bad day.

Not a devastating news type of day, just one of those days where you think, “Seriously? What is going to happen next?"

The first project of the morning still wasn’t finished at 6pm and I decided I needed to take a stress break and do some yoga. A back injury a few weeks ago took me all the way back to yoga foundations, the most basic of poses. 

I was grumbling as I went to the basement with my computer to our workout area. “I’m sure this won’t work either,” I thought, “but at least it will stretch out my back!” 

As I rolled out my mat and watched the opening moves, I realized with dismay that I’d forgotten to close the door behind me. Almost as if I’d conjured him with my thoughts, my 7-month old black standard poodle, Sven, appeared at my side. 

Holding Pose with a Poodle

“WOW!” he seemed to say, “You’re standing in one spot! Perfect for me to be with you!” And with me he was. As I stood one-legged in tree pose, he leaned in to rest his head on my upper foot. 

At first I was annoyed. Didn’t he realize this was my relaxation time? That I needed to concentrate on my breathing? Yoga is serious business after all. 

I shooed him away as I got down on the mat and prepared for downward dog. He watched curiously, then decided to use his new agility class tricks to practice his crawl. He stooped down and crawled under my belly. 

During vinyasa, a pose rather like a half-way push up, he really put his crawling skills to the test as he wiggled and squirmed his way between my belly button and the mat. He is a standard poodle, after all, 45 pounds and 22 inches tall.

No longer annoyed, I started laughing. He wanted to be with me. He wanted to do what I was doing. 

As I stood and then folded forward, he wrapped himself around my legs and squeezed tightly, nose to tail, until we fell together in a heap and then he licked me furiously.

It worked. I realized that these moments are the important moments. That, while centered breaths have their value, sometimes what you really need is a giant poodle knocking you over and licking your face and having a good laugh.

There’s more than one way to return to center.

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Tracie Shroyer is my incomparable, indispensable Virtual Assistant. Learn more about all Tracie does at her website: LaunchTechMadeEasy.com