My house is full of rugs, mostly used to cover up the scratches the dogs have made on our wide-plank pine floors. Lexi, Wolfie and Bisou run and skid and play on these rugs all day long, and the rugs are forever getting bunched up and moved around. But whenever I try to straighten up a rug, one or more dogs immediately get on top of it. Why is that? Does my focusing on one spot on the floor make them think that I\’m about to dig up a bone? Haven\’t they figured up by now that I\’m strictly motivated by aesthetic impulses? Do your dogs do this too?
But my dogs\’ behavior around rugs is nothing compared to their reaction to my yoga mat. The minute I unroll it, Wolfie and Bisou are on it, reclining like pashas on a divan. Is it the smell of accumulated sweatings? Is it the purple color? Is it the \”energy\” of the thing?
For some reason, I hesitate to shoo them off. In my yogic moments, I strive to become open and vulnerable to all life, so how can I make myself yell \”off!\” at these peaceable, well-intentioned creatures? I end up doing my sun salutations on a narrow strip of mat while trying to avoid nearby paws and tails and wondering what a true yogi would do in this situation.
When I sit cross-legged on the mat to meditate, Wolfie arranges his big frame so that his back curves to fit exactly along my legs, then gives a big sigh and puts his nose down on his paws. Ahh, I think, this is it. Matching energies. Kinship with all life. Openness to the universe.
Then Bisou comes along, squeaky toy in mouth, lured by the irresistible purple mat and the energies that swirl around it. She shakes her toy around, sniffs Wolfie\’s face, then decides that the spot between my ankles and pelvis is the best place for her. She settles in and quiets down. Ahh, I think, double bliss.
For a moment, all is quiet.
Then WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF! Wolfie explodes, growling and snarling, having heard something dreadful out in the front field. I open one eye and peer out the window. Nothing. There is nothing out there but snow and ice and winter deadness. But by now Bisou has abandoned her nest between my legs and is jumping up at Wolfie, whose long wagging tail catches me on the cheek…
And I tell myself, back to the breath, back to the breath.