My Blog

The Best Part

4.16.2010 | Dogs, Motivation, My Blog, Sponsors

After a far-too-long hiatus, I went to yoga class on Tuesday at Open Space Yoga with Michael. It was a core yoga class, which I find easier than Hatha for some reason, so I knew I could take it easy. I have been genetically blessed with strong abdominal muscles, so I take to core work pretty well. In fact, it’s my favourite part of any type of training. I’m one of those weird people who actually looks forward to Boat Pose.  I think the fact that my mom put me in all sorts of sports when I was a kid really helped my body to create and maintain solid abdominal muscles. If all it took were strong abs to make it up a mountain, I’d be carrying Mt. Kilimanjaro up Mt. Everest!

… not really.

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway… in the core yoga classes, we do about an hour of conditioning work before Michael says the magic words: “It’s time for Savassana”. He dims the lights, puts on some soft music, and we all lay there like lumps of conscious brain matter. I do love my Savassana… it’s a personal space, one where you’re relaxing, but conscious of the fact that you’re relaxing. There’s no worrying about what to eat for dinner after class, or what you need to do at work the next day… it’s just your own time to honour the space and the time that you are in at that moment.

I’ll tell you what happens when I do Savassana – I imagine that I am in Dog Heaven. Really.  I have a rustic cabin there, with a lovely porch housing a gently swaying hammock. The porch overlooks a broad, green field that is gracefully cut through by a wide, slow, clear river. There is a tall, full, green forest beyond the river, and the whole field is in a valley, where snow-capped mountains ambitiously touch the sky. There are flowers in the field. And there are dogs.

Lots and lots of dogs. All they’re all happy, whole, healthy, well-fed and endlessly loved. They play together, and lap from the stream, they run up to me so that I can scratch their fluffy, soft ears and every so often, I imagine… a bacon tree! There are at least 3 dogs fat and happy under the bacon tree.

All of the dogs had a best friend on Earth, and they are waiting in dog heaven to see that friend again. And while they wait, they can look into the stream and see happy memories of their best friend. There are lots of wagging tails in my dog heaven.

Always beside me on my porch, swinging in the hammock and softly dozing with me is my dog Jake. Jake died in 2007, and it was a very sad time. So during Savassana, as I am laying comfortably on my mat in the Open Space studio, I am actually laying comfortable on my hammock, being nuzzled by a snoring, warm, fluffy, 4-legged version of love. It is Paradise.

I have finally learned that it is ok to say goodbye to Jake when it is time to return from Savassana, because I know that I can come back anytime. I give him a pat, slide off the hammock, and leave him there to sleep, and to drink the rest of the lemonade on the table.

But the best part is yet to come. After Savassana comes to an end, we all sit quietly on our mats and take a moment to reflect inward. We bring our hands together at Heart Centre. We exhale and lower our heads. And then, with our heads bowed, and with a sincerity so true, Michael gently says my very favourite phrase:

“Bring a smile into your heart”

I smile, and I feel it in my heart. My chest warms, and that warmth spreads through me like a waving colour. More often than not, bringing a smile into my heart brings tears to my eyes. I am so grateful for that moment. It is the best part of my yoga practice.

Yoga. For the good of the body, the peace of the mind, the memories of your dog, the warmth in the heart.




From Amy:

Just read your blog about Dog Heaven. So beautiful!!!! I’m more of a cat person but damn it, I wanna go to dog heaven. You are a beautiful writer! Cant wait for the Kili gala, I’m gathering the troops and will get tickets from you soon.