Archive for the ‘dogs!’ Category
This morning I did a random practice session, mostly with the intention of flipping in pincha mayurasana (to make sure I don’t develop the fear again) and to open up my psoas muscles a bit. Tomorrow morning is intermediate with Manju, and I didn’t want to face it after the moon day and then a day off. I felt I must prepare.
And then I was kinda lazy. I started off imagining a long session, but that impulse faded pretty quickly. I do value my days off! So I did a bunch of random stuff until I felt warm, then did some flipping. Not only does it not hurt at ALL, it is totally fun. I am still amused at how much it pleases me to flip. And then I realized that it is now much harder to balance! Apparently fear helps me defy gravity. Meh. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. The only thing I really didn’t want was to be in the “trying to launch but afraid to because I might flip” situation. It may play out that I just flip over and over as he counts to five, but I dunno, that doesn’t bother me for some reason.
The other preparedness stuff revolves around an upcoming visit from The Cop’s parents. They arrive on Wednesday and stay for a week. First order of business is keeping cranky Daisy in a muzzle at all times. Second order of business is cleaning the house. Siiiiiiiiiigh. I have a level of cleanliness that is acceptable to The Cop and myself, but then throw in house guests, and the stakes seem to go up. The dog drool splotches on the tile floor just seem normal to me. But they’ve got to go when there’re guests. At least, I have to TRY to get rid of them; they are immediately replaced, so there’s a Sisyphean aspect to the whole project. Between the dogs’ drool and desert dust, there’s just no way I can pull off an Architectural Digest facade.
I put a vaporizer in the yoga room and have had the most delightful practices. Enjoyed it so much this morning, I even took a random UD pic. (Yes, I know my arms aren’t straight. Damn you, shoulders!)
And I even brought a little humidifier in to my office. Think of how dewy my skin will be.
Yesterday was 8 weeks since Waylon’s surgery. The Cop brought him for his final x-ray and everything looks perfect. Best part of being cleared by the surgeon? He’s able to climb up on the couch again!
Me: I put a quart of cold orange juice away in the pantry once. Didn’t find it until the next day. Let’s tell each other these stories. We can watch each other grow senile. It’ll be fun!
Cousin: Okay… beat this. Running around crazy doing errands…left a store, grabbed my cell out of my pocketbook… got into the car started to drive and called Gena. I had to pick up something for her and couldn’t remember where it was… Anyway, I’m flying down the highway talking to her and suddenly I’m yelling about how I have to go back and grab my cell phone because I can’t find it.
Me: Ha! You might win with that one. But we still have plenty of time to do even dumber things. Here’s one: I put my glasses on one afternoon. Whoa — suddenly everything looked all fuzzy. Weird! Pulled them off, and I could see perfectly. “Oh my God!” I thought, “My eyes have healed themselves!” Put the glasses back on: fuzzy. Took them off: clear. A miracle! Yeah, then I realized I had my contacts on.
A couple of nights ago, Daisy had a run in with a coyote. We have six foot and eight foot walls around the whole yard. She was out there alone, and suddenly I heard a dog fight. Ran out, and saw her running toward me. I grabbed a flashlight and went over by the wall, could hear something in the neighbor’s yard. The only two things that could have gotten over the fence that fast are a cat or a coyote. Couldn’t have been a cat, because there were no cat noises in the scuffle.
I’m taking Daisy to obedience classes, because she doesn’t seem to like/trust other dogs (other than Waylon), and I don’t like how she growls at other animals. Yeah, you should have seen her at her obedience class the night after the coyote fight. She was super aggressive. Damn nature! It’s messing up my plans for a sedate dog.
While I was in Tucson, I had an Ayurvedic consultation with L. I am pitta-vata, with a bad case (thanks a lot, job!) of super-aggravated vata. Exhaustion, spaciness, etc.
Since the session, I’ve been eating more carefully and using herbs to square the vata situation away. Been going remarkably well — until a few minutes ago, when someone on my team (who knows I love candy corn) left a big handful on my desk.
Can I resist the candy corn? I cannot.
Here we are in Tucson. Arrived Wednesday afternoon. The business trip that was threatening (to Budapest!) did not come to fruition, so I was set free to carry on with my much-needed vacation.
MUCH needed. I slept all day Thursday. Led on Friday. Nice to see S again; he was leading, as L has been out of town (she’ll be back tomorrow). After led, I pretty much slept all day again. Headachy and stiff. Ugh. I started to wonder if I’d pushed myself too far to recover in time for the yoga part of my vacation… Spent yesterday sitting by a drugged Waylon, reading “The Hours.” (Two thumbs up for “The Hours,” especially if you — like me! — are a fan of “Mrs. Dalloway.”)
Waylon is recovering from his surgery — it’s been about 2 1/2 weeks. He’s supposed to be restrained for 8 weeks. Seriously! Not an easy job. Especially with Daisy always ready to incite him to riot. I’m not going to write about the first couple of days after the surgery, because they were traumatic and kind of horrifying. Let’s just say he had 18 staples down his leg and was heavily drugged and suffered mightily.
Much better now, except for having to be kept in a small space, which he doesn’t love. We have a corner of the living room encircled with a baby gate and a bunch of chairs to keep him contained. Also some sedatives so he doesn’t pace like a zoo animal. Meanwhile, Daisy cavorts around the living room or stands at the back door barking at… well, anything at all. Any time he is taken out to eliminate (the only exercise he is allowed), she runs into his space and steals his toys.
Practice today was better than I could have wished. Home practice, though, as there is no Mysore on Sundays at the shala here. Good for discipline. I finally feel like I am awake, after a couple of days of exhaustion, and the stiffness is gone. Yay! I’m looking forward to a proper shala practice tomorrow morning. And on Tuesday I booked an Ayurvedic consultation with L. I need some help trying to balance and sustain work and a loooong practice. Definitely have been burnt out for the past couple of months, and I really don’t want to keep doing that to myself.
The Cop helped me in dwi pada this morning. Folding back the left leg is easy, but then there I am, right leg flapping around next to me. “Just stick that leg behind the other one,” I said. He seems a little concerned about this every time he helps me. A gentle teacher. It’s coming along. But seriously, the balance on this?? As a wise woman pointed out to me about some poses, “It isn’t there, it isn’t there, it isn’t there, and then it is.”
I’m really hoping that’s true in the way it was for the lift in upavishtha konasana. It wasn’t there, wasn’t there, and then — surprise! — one morning it was. Better that than baddha konasana, where it wasn’t there, wasn’t there, still wasn’t there, hurt like a son of a bitch to even try, was SO not there, needed to be left out entirely, and then, finally, was there.
Ever read Chuck Palahniuk’s book, “Choke”? If I didn’t know better I’d think it was about Daisy. She has driven me to research doggie Heimlich maneuvers. Pretty routinely, she scarfs up her food in a way that makes her reel around the bowl, gagging and making horrid noises as she tries to dislodge the obstruction in her throat. It’s pretty scary. Then she goes in the backyard and eats the longest palm frond she can find, or a length of Bermuda grass rhizome. Then she wanders back in the house, stumbling and retching and heaving until I grab it and pull the length of the vegetation out of her throat.
Last night, she grabbed a long nylabone by the end and ran full force toward the couch, launched herself, and hit a bank of pillows. The force of it drove the nylabone straight down her throat. More retching and stumbling until I pulled it out. And sure enough, she did almost the exact same thing this morning.
Practice has been super delightful lately ’cause of the breath. My flotation experiences (and yes, I wish they’d just go back to calling it what it is: sensory deprivation) reminded me how much I enjoy breathing when I’m wearing earplugs. So practice these days includes props: the two sticky orange earplugs I bring home from the
flotation spa sensory deprivation tank.
Lately I experience my breath as a sphere. Each inhale/exhale is one sphere and a single moment. I don’t think of anything that happens outside the sphere: nothing from the past, nothing from the present. If it isn’t part of the sphere, which is just the inhalation and the exhalation and the sensations of the particular posture or vinyasa, then I put it down. Sweet. It gets progressively harder to do as the week wears on; I find myself thinking about work stuff and playing scenarios in my head. No! No! No! Get out of my breath sphere! I’m entitled to at least 90 minutes per day of being beyond thought constructions, right?
Speaking of 90 minutes: at this point I am trekking through primary to yoga nidrasana five days a week. At almost every practice there is an interruption, usually towards the end, where my mind yells, “THIS IS A LONG HAUL!” Then I start the next breath sphere and go on.
Waylon, after spending close to two months going around with cuts all over his jowls from Daisy’s violent affections, finally corrected her this weekend. Apparently he nipped her. Neither The Cop nor I saw it; we just heard her yelp, then saw him immediately comfort her. Talk about not holding a grudge. He did it three times over the course of the weekend, and she is now approaching him a little more gently.
Interestingly, The Cop and I had recently started reprimanding her when she was trying to rip his face off, because it didn’t seem like he ever would and it was getting too crazy. I wonder if he finally felt like it was okay, once he saw that The Cop and I didn’t like what was going on.
Still, no matter how rough and tumble she is, how can you not love a face like this?
The other night, Daisy launched herself at the sliding glass door, pawing frantically. Figuring she had to go pee, I slid the door open… Oh, no! As soon as I did it I recognized the sound of the lawn sprinklers, which had just turned on. She’d slipped past me in the moment it took me to realize what was happening, and all of my commands and pleas that she come back in the house were ignored as she romped from sprinkler to sprinkler, biting the tops of them and running away like a maniac.
When the sprinklers finally switched off, she bounded back in — soaking wet — slid on the tile, then threw herself at the couch a number of times, before finally catapulting onto the The Cop. All of the dark spots on the couch are her failed attempts to get to him. Did I mention he hates getting wet? Still, he let her snuggle up once she’d managed to summit the couch.
And here’s a picture that I suspect pretty accurately illustrates Waylon’s experience of Daisy.
She warned me
When I was in Tucson, Lisa told me to get past the fear in Bakasana B, then go on to the foot behind the head poses. ““This is the treacherous part,” she said. “From here you keep adding poses to karandavasana, and it can turn into a very long practice.”
Something else she said, that I just reread in my journal
At the end of Friday led primary she said something as people were lying down for savasana: “Don’t start thinking about how you did, or whether you did well or not well. Just be grateful for the circumstances that brought you to your practice and keep bringing you to your practice every day. You are very lucky to be among the few people who do this. Be grateful to your teachers.”
This morning’s possible misinterpretation while listening to Yoga Matrix
The expansive nature of the prana (inhale) invites flights of imagination, potential for ungroundedness — which can be tethered through a grounding through the navel.
The nature of apana (exhale) invites anxiety about death (abinivesha), which can be *released* through the navel.
[Physical interpretation: It makes a kind of figure eight.]
A Year of Cats and Dogs
Yes, I suspect I would be appalled to find myself liking this book if I were actually reading it. But I had a credit to use up at Audible, and I wanted something amusing to listen to as I did housecleaning yesterday. And the narrator of the story can communicate with animals! My favorite thing!
Anyhow, her communications with dogs in a shelter range from delightful to utterly heartbreaking. Likewise her relationship with her elderly, failing Dad. I give the book a thumbs up, even though I can also be snotty about its literary value. And I give my self a thumbs down for that.
About 75% of my FaceBooking involves commentless sharing of this blog. Yeah, I’m a FaceBook slacker, but come on! Look at the subject: Primates! (Well, the subject is stress, actually, but I’m in it for the PRIMATES.) Yup, I not only look like a chimp, I love to read about chimps. (Shout out to Jane Goodall!) As soon as I started reading this entry, I got all excited to read about baboons! Then I read his hilarious observation:
“One of the first things I discovered was that I didn’t like baboons very much,” he says. “They’re quite awful to one another, constantly scheming and backstabbing. They’re like chimps but without the self-control.”
I think I’ll probably stick with the chimps. They’re pretty unruly as it is. Baboons sound like a non-human version of “Lord of the Flies,” and I’m depressed enough from the cats and dogs book.
Quinoa, raw corn, sunflower seeds, chopped carrots, black olives, tamari, olive oil, lemon juice.
Mashed banana, chopped dates, oats, peanut butter, hemp protein powder, sesame seeds, maple syrup.
Ground raw chicken legs and thighs — bones, fat and all.
Hemp protein powder
Yes, there is one that is super-powdery and melts easily in liquid. Now I don’t have to worry about wearing hemp grit in my teeth to afternoon meetings.
The one I found: it’s either a lyre or a night snake, according to Russ at the Phoenix Herpetological Society. He responded to my email and pictures within 10 minutes. It was kinda getting to me, watching the dogs play out in the yard and not knowing whether there was a rattlesnake living in the grass.
Saturday night, The Cop and I were in the back yard. I saw a movement, the thrashy sidewinding way snakes move when they’re in a hurry.
“Look! A snake!” I said.
It was a tiny one, much smaller than the one I saw on Thursday.
Not sure what’s going on out there, reptile-wise. Lots of ‘em, and they all seem especially bold. On the other hand, I haven’t seen or heard a coyote in ages.
Yesterday’s delightful holiday nap was marred by an enormous divebombing fly in the bedroom. His mission, apparently, was to cavort on human skin and buzz more loudly than any fly has ever buzzed before. I fell asleep with the sheet pulled up over my head.
Last night, as I was falling asleep, The Cop announced, “I may have to terminate this.” I fell asleep, so I’m not sure how it turned out.
You’d think since she went to bed late, after spending the afternoon and evening patrolling the perimeter, barking at neighbors who dared celebrate the holiday outdoors, tormenting Waylon, jumping up trying to bite The Cop’s wrapped hand, attacking the lawnmower, the weed whacker, me, my shoes, the curtains, and the fence that keeps her out of the yoga room, she’d sleep in a little. Not so. 4 AM is wake-up time. If I carefully ignore the progressively more frantic scratching, whining and crate-biting for 10 minutes, it’s like hitting the snooze button: she crashes for another 10-20 minutes. Three rounds of ignoring bought me 40 extra minutes of sleep this morning, in three micro-bursts.
this picture of a beautiful kapotasana, along with a post
by someone who clearly thinks about more
than what it looks like.