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Growing up in a high-rise luxury building meant that I couldn’t have a dog. Being that my parents were not cat lovers and happened to also be turned off to rodents, my choices for a pet were quite limited.
When I was ten years old though, my father got me a dwarf rabbit. Junior, as we named him, lived a long, healthy 13 years. He provided my entire family with comfort during times of stress, and was a constant companion during my confusing teenage years. He did not judge, give advice, or chose favorites. He lived in the moment, enjoying his daily run around our apartment as if it were his last. He hopped and bounced with all his being, just totally in the moment.
I did not know it at the time, but Junior was a fantastic yogi. He taught me many things. As an adult, I finally got the dog I’ve always wanted. I adopted a scrawny mutt 3 years ago and nursed him back to health. It was 6 months after he had come into my life that I started practicing yoga. I realized very quickly that the yogic lifestyle so many people were working to achieve was already being lived by my dog.
My dog does not think about the past. Even though he had a rough start to life, it does not plaque him. He wakes up each day happy and full of joy. Every time
I put down his breakfast bowl he eats as if it is the best meal he has ever eaten. When we go on walks, he stops to smell the flowers, literally. He loves fully, with every cell in his body. He does not worry about the future – he lives completely in the present moment.
One of the overall goals of yoga – outside of mastering the physical practice or asana - is to live in the present moment. We humans have a tough time with this. We worry about the past, and we are always concerned about the future, which is the cause of most of our stress and anxiety. Dogs, cats and other animals live in the moment, and I personally find that awe-inspiring.
As I sit at my computer and write this article, my dog has just awoken from a nap. After a few downward dog and upward dog stretches, (I’m quite jealous of his transition between the two) he rolls onto the carpet and moans, rubbing his face and belly into the fibers. He is happy, and there is no hiding it.
Our pets play major roles in our lives, but I wonder if they serve a high purpose, one that we are not always aware of. Maybe they are our furry guru’s, silently teaching and guiding us.
Morgan Gertler Pirog
Writer/Dreamer: Creating Things of Enduring Value
Morgan is a believer that positive thoughts will lead to positive actions. She found yoga several years ago and was immediately drawn to the unification of body, breath & mind. Her other loves include her husband, her pit bull mix Jagger and mermaids.