We had a very busy weekend and as you know from the Bubbles guide to Happy Healthy Living: it is absolutely necessary to relax when one has been busy. So that is what we did on Sunday evening.
We did doga, M and I. As you can see in this picture. M is stretching her back and I am helping her. You think I am sleeping? Ha! No way. I am putting some extra weight on M, so she can stretch deeper.
I have been with humans for almost three years now (I’m turning three in October), but I am still surprised about them. Take yoga. Sometimes M and I do this together and then we call it doga. M really likes doing yoga and she even reads books about it. Yoga is a bunch of exercises, some of them hilarious, but it is also what humans call a philosophy about how to lead a good life. Key aspects seem to be living in the now and concentrating on the breathing.
That is funny. Why on earth would you concentrate on the breathing, something that comes natural to every living being? It doesn’t need concentrating in order to work! I think there are loads of other things worth concentrating on, things that need concentrating because otherwise you will miss them. Like good food. Humans can really make things complicated!
I find the other key aspect, living in the now, very silly too. Of course you live in the present, where else would you be? It is the only time there is! I know a lot of humans are busy regretting things that happened in the past and they worry about things that might happen in the future. That is such a waste of time. You can not change things that happened in the past and you have absolutely no clue what will happen in the future. The only sensible – and by far the most enjoyable – thing to do is live in the now. To us dogs this is common sense. Have you ever seen a dog regretting things he had done? Or concentrating on his breathing? It would be very funny!
Apparently humans need yoga to tell them basic knowledge like this. That is odd. I must add to this that M does do a lot of yoga, but she breathes naturally so she has no need to concentrate on that (except when she tries to run with me). And she lives in the now, always. Well, most of the time. In this picture she is doing yoga, not doga because I didn’t join her. I was just enjoying the soft mat, as you can see it was kind of rocky on this campsite.
Ever heard of a foldable dog? That’s me! My legs are very long and so is my back – long and extremely flexible. I was born that way and I have been training hard to maintain the flexibility, by doing doga together with M. I benefit greatly from it and M says she does too. Although I do not see her progress, because she is still as stiff as a plank.
Anyway, I like being foldable. It gives me lots of variations in the position I like to sleep in, for instance. This is one of my favorites.
Now I think of it: this could be an excellent doga posture! I will practice it with M, so she can become flexible, like me. She masters the plank already, so it is time to move on to more challenging poses.
When M and I do doga together, we do different poses. Some of them I really like, for instance downward facing dog pose. Of course I like dog pose! I do this a lot, not only in doga. This is the pose dogs use when they want to play. It is an invitation – for playing. In doga it is an invitation to relax, which is almost the same thing.
Some poses in doga I find very challenging. I don’t seem to be build to do these ones right. For instance, my ribcage gets in the way. I have a very deep ribcage, you know, because one of my ancestors was a greyhound. When we do this one, for instance, M is nearly flat on the ground, her nose almost touching the yoga mat. For me this pose means stretching my legs very much and putting my tail in the air for balance:
The name of this pose is phalakasana. I think it sounds like something you could eat, something yummy with Indian spices in it. And maybe some yoghurt for a nice creamy touch. I always get very hungry when we do doga together. Although I must admit I get hungry when doing any activity, not just doga. I love food.
M is very busy. She is talking in this black box a lot and looking at the light emitting thing on her desk all the time. I sleep next to her in her office, so I know. Usually we do a little walk at the end of the day and that is enough for her to slow down, but when she is very busy like this, she needs something extra. Otherwise she can’t sleep because her ‘head is still busy’, she tells me. I know what she is talking about, because me too, I have a busy head. I think about food all the time. Like what it would be like to eat a pigeon or whether pizza with chorizo is better than pizza with cheese (I can’t decide, what do you think?). It is nice to think of things like that, but sometimes it is too much. It makes you can’t live in the moment.
In times like this, we do extra doga. My new hobby, I told you about earlier? Part of doga is meditation. It looks super easy, just relaxing. But it turns out to be very difficult. Because you do not only have to sit still, which I find a real challenge, but you also have to let go of your thoughts. Not really thinking them, but realising ‘hey, this is a thought, how interesting, but I let go now’. And then you get another thought and you do the same, etcetera. I find this very hard, especially with thoughts about pizza.
But M is really determined to do this, so so am I. I will support her in this. So I sit next to her, after some playing and wrestling of course, and we meditate. It looks like this:
We get better at it, every time we do this, I am proud to say. Last night we even did it for two whole minutes!
M and I have a new hobby. I will tell you about it, because it is very exciting. It even has an official name: doga.
When I first saw M doing this, I thought she wanted to play with me. I bounced on her, but she told me not to do that. It turned out that what she was doing is a play, so I got that right, but one with certain special rules. It took me some time to understand, it is a demanding play for a young energetic dog like me. But now I get it. She does a certain pose and I copy her! This is my favorite pose and I love the name, it is just right. It is called down dog:
Sorry it is not a picture, we can’t practice doga and make pictures at the same time. But M likes to make cartoons now and then, so she made this.
There are other poses I like, but I am still practicing on those. So I will post about them later. In the meantime, I am studying this special website about our new hobby. It has free videos! I love it.