Hahaha that is a joke my friend Ben likes to tell. Ben is one of the funniest human beings alive. He waits till the room gets silent and then starts to make sniffing noises, as if he smells a mysterious odor or is a police dog investigating a crime scene. He would make these noises with a confused look on this face and say:
Ben: Hey Nat do you smell that?
Me: Smell what?
Ben: I donâ€™t know but it kinda smells like up dog.
Me: Up dog? What is up dog?
Ben: Not much just chillin!
Urrrggh I canâ€™t believe I fell for that silly joke. We both burst into laughter.
Well Ben 3 years later and I finally have a witty come back for you.
What is up dog? Well, up dog aka upward facing dog aka urdhva mukha svanasana is a yoga posture that I use in every class I teach. For you seasoned yogis reading you know that upward facing dog is one of the positions in the traditional sun salutation sequence. You can also practice this pose individually but I rarely do. For those of you that need a refresher below is the beautiful Claudia (a friend and fellow yoga teacher at De La Sol) doing a demo.
One day mid-flow, I noticed that I rush through my urdhva mukha svanasana because I canâ€™t wait to arrive in the restful, glorious adho mukha svanasana aka downward facing dog pose. So this week in my yoga practice and teaching I focused on paying particular attention to this transitional, often rushed through posture. I tried to hold upward facing dog but realized that I lacked the patience to hold the posture for longer than a breath.
Patience is a virtue- a virtue that I have a hard time with. When my impatience takes over, both on and off my mat, I always try to remind myself that things take time and will reveal themselves eventually. When I notice myself rushing I silently tell myself to slow down.
With instant oatmeal, instant scratch tickets, instant messaging, yoga-in- 10 minutes-or-less, abs-in 6 minutes-or-less, and instant pain relief it is hard to remember most things that are special are not quick. They need to unfold at their own pace and rushing them will just foul everything up. Anyone who has painted their house knows what I am talking about. Rushing creates a big fat mess.
Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you. -John De Paola
We are all at the beginning of a transition. Mother Natureâ€™s upward facing dog- spring. In my eyes, spring is just the transition from cold winter into glorious summer. During this time I am usually just praying for summer to begin. Well at least that is how I use to look at it. Not this year! In my quest to live yogically I am going to embrace this transition and not just use this time as merely a countdown to something bigger, brighter and warmer- summer. By me rushing through spring and being numb to all its glorious aspects I am missing out on a lot. I vow to have the patience this spring to slow down, open my eyes to its beauty, and not just want to barrel through it like a mall speed walker or a charging bull. I need to stay present and not wish to be instantly gratified by summer. Let us honor and celebrate all the transitions in our lives- spring, upward facing dog, a new job, a relationship status, or whatever else we face that is in a transitional phase. Be present through every transition. Donâ€™t ignore all the amazing things transitions have to offer and have to teach. Transitions are no joking matter.
Enjoyment is the sweetness of noticing your life right now â€“ smell, taste, feeling, sensation. -The Yoga Sutras
Peace, peace, peace
NEXT WEEK! Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?