THE BLOG
01/23/2015 03:23 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What Happened When My Down Dog Was Barking

The Seane Corn "Detox Flow" Yoga DVD has sat new and unopened in my living room for quite a while. I'm well aware of the benefits of yoga and even enjoy it, yet even when it sits packaged in my living room I struggle to actually do it. I continually intend to do more yoga, but that's the thing about our intentions, they can only take us so far. At some point, some action is required.

On a random Thursday, after a particularly long and busy week of work I was too tired to go to the gym at the end of the day so I headed home. I thought that I might eventually get to the gym that night and changed into my workout clothes. I went downstairs and watched some TV after taking my dogs for a walk. Before long, I was laying on the couch, two shows in and the Seane Corn "Detox Flow" Yoga DVD popped into view. I opened it.

I grabbed the computer and put it in. I was feeling excited and proud of myself for taking the first steps in adding more yoga into my life. Before the DVD was even finished with its preliminary advertising, my dogs started barking. "Quiet!" I said, just a little too loud.

The DVD finally started and I maneuvered myself into the first pose. My dog Willow began licking my face. Dublin, my other pup, started jumping around my moving body surely wondering when I will stop so that he can lay on my lap. I persevered.

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By the second down dog, Willow had brought me a stick and Dublin was sitting next to me, impatiently. I threw the stick and moved into the next pose. Suddenly, the dogs were quiet and unmoving. Ah, the power of yoga. I get through the next 10 minutes and right when Seane Corn is talking about finding balance in life, Willow starts barking again. "Quiet," I said, this time quietly.

Finally, Willow, Dublin and I have all reached the end of the DVD. Both dogs lay next to me as I lay in the final pose. I feel more relaxed, I have more energy, and I am earnestly expressing my gratitude (at Seane Corn's request).

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I started to think about what we say in the therapy world about meeting clients where they are at. I think that is important for us to do for ourselves too. On that random Thursday I met myself where I was at. I didn't go to the gym or make it to a yoga class where undoubtedly there would have been no dogs barking. I didn't make it upstairs and go to a room where I could shut the door and hopefully Seane Corn's voice would have drowned out the potential whining of my dogs to get in. I didn't quit when it felt a bit ridiculous to be doing yoga with dog noises everywhere (who by the way, as I write this, are completely quiet, curled up and sound asleep).

Of course there are much greater predicaments in our world than this, of those I am well aware. In fact, my awareness of the pain and suffering in the world may be the exact reason I need more yoga in my own life. For if I don't try my very best to take the very best care of myself, how in the world can I even attempt to fully and whole heartedly support others in their quest to be better in their own lives? How could I possibly support our youth in finding their voices if I don't listen to my own? Who would I be if I took my journey of wellness and spat all over it and then spouted the importance of belonging and connection as part of my work?

Not sure of the answers to all of those questions. But what I do know is that any time I get the chance to do yoga with my dogs, I'm taking it. And just maybe, part of the answer is that my choices are what gives me the chance to create those opportunities for wellness. And maybe on that day it was my dogs that reminded me to pay close attention to how truly committed I am to moving into down dog, even when there is one barking.