Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who celebrate! I don’t specifically, but I always think it’s interesting to keep a broad view of how different cultures perceive the world to be, with an open mind it seems that we all have so much to teach each other.
I’m particularly excited that we’re moving into the year of the Earth Dog. You may or may not know that I’m a massive fan of creatures who woof, and I believe we have a whole lot to learn from our furry friends.
Some friends of mine have asked if I teach my dogs yoga
(I train my dogs, you see).
To this I am really quite affronted. What on earth can I teach my dogs about the yoga mind!!
These guys have perfected yoga from the moment they were born. They live in the present, they are pure love, they are hope, they are optimism and enthusiasm, they are joy and of course they truly do celebrate life.
So no, I don’t teach my dogs yoga, but my dogs sure do teach me about life. If only I could harness just one fraction of their loving nature, of their joy, of their teamwork, their optimism, their energy and of course their free unconstrained and unrestrained movement.
These guys certainly don’t need to be taught to downward dog to stretch out after a long snooze, it all comes quite naturally.
What will Chinese New Year 2018 mean for me?
Wonderful MFML teacher, Mimi has written a beautiful blog post sharing her thoughts on what the year of the earth dog means for many people. It sounds like it could be an emotionally charged, energetic and possibly tempestuous year for us.
Her post talks about the ’emotionally charged and quick-tempered’ nature of dogs. As a trainer of dogs, I’m reminded that this is very true. For successful dog training, I make sure that dogs get sufficient exercise before they are trained, otherwise they’re like over-excited cannon balls firing off in all directions and just can’t take information in.
The exercise takes the edge off the emotional charge and quick temper. So this year may be a good year to make sure that we get enough exercise before we try to get on with our day.
A useful reminder to make sure you get in your active ‘yang’ yoga practice every day in this year of the earth dog. And to combat the reactivity that might be possible this year, it seems there could be no better time for the quieter practices of mindfulness.
Wishing you a loving, playful, affectionate and energetic year of the Earth Dog!
>>Perfect your Dogs this Chinese New Year>>
Downward facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana, is one of the most common of yoga poses, but as a result, incorrect alignment can create a habit causing injury. Dylan shows us safe, correct alignment, alongside variations to build strength and ease in the pose.
Open up all along your spine and learn the correct sensations in your abdomen and shoulders for the perfect upward dog.