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Archive for December, 2009

B(r)ody

As most of you know, Brody is the main dog in my life.

Not exactly my dog; I can’t claim that, since Katie picked him out at the pound (we now look back amazed at our naivete), and she’s put in 95% of the hard work involved in converting him from a fear-based-aggressor-alpha-beast into a much calmer, more love-based sweetheart. 14 months he’s been in our lives, pretty much turning everything upside down in the process, like–well, the only thing we’ve come up with is like an autistic toddler delivered anonymously to your doorstep.

This summer Katie came within inches of sending him to “prison”–well, actually a prisoner-run dog training program somewhere in Montana. But then, as if he’d heard us, something shifted. He quit freaking out. (Also, the neighbor whose fence Brody jumped to violently attack her German Shepherd, up and moved without a word. Can’t imagine why.)  Katie bravely started introducing him to doggy day care one day a week and slowly, gradually, and with surprisingly little drama, he turned a corner. Now he runs happily with “the pack” at day care, he can handle a couple night sleepover with two dozen other mutts, and  I’ve (mostly) stopped calling him “The Wedge.”

Anyway, so I was in my Bikram yoga class yesterday and, as will happen when you’re lying on your back in savasana between poses, I made a connection:

Brody contains the word body.

Hmm.

And sometimes my body acts a lot like Brody.

And sometimes Brody acts kind of like my body.

Ornery. Rebellious.

Dumb.

Stubborn.

And super needy.

Brody has to learn to sit quietly, wait, pay attention to get what he wants. It’s a bitch; you’d be amazed how many of us have trouble staying still for only two minutes in the last savasana, the final rest. People can’t handle it, they have to get up, roll up their mat, run off to the next thing. Two minutes is too much!

Me, I can be still for the full two, and this makes me briefly aware of my superiority–until I realize that my mind hasn’t settled for even 10 seconds. My body sits still, but my mind is Brody in the morning: “Hey! Hello, get up! It’s time to do stuff! What’s that? Did you hear that? Squirrel!! Why are you lying there? Mommmmm!”

The instructor puts us in triangle pose, for a full minute. My body, focused, obeys mostly, except for my madly trembling bent leg. My Brody, though, whines and pleads for release from the torture chamber.

My body reaches, once again, for standing boat pose, watching my foot come up over my head in the mirror in front of me. I’m there, holding steady, 40 seconds, only 20 to go–but my Brody barrels into the room and knocks me over.

My body is trying to stay present. My Brody wants to eat/play/trot around nibbling people on the ass.

My Brody is racing around the room in circles. My body works to maintain stillness, breathing all the way through the full cycle of tree stand. My Brody, too, lifts his leg–and pees on the tree.

You get the point.

It’d be so great if I didn’t have to bring the dog to yoga. But The Beast insists on coming.

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