Enlightenment of any kind is a challenging pursuit. Most of us trudge through our daily lives at least partially on auto-pilot, myself included. The recent saga of the back has re-set some of my expectations, whether I wanted them re-set or not. I've been encouraged to develop and maintain a "healthy lifestyle", which includes daily exercise, better eating habits and a degree of self awareness that I'm not sure I was really ready for.
As I sough guidance and support for the new, improved Kimberley, I thought "Who exhibits a degree of contentedness most if not all of the time? Who takes great care of himself and those around him, both in body and spirit? Who indeed is a 'compassionate being?'" The answer, oddly enough, was quite close to home.
Everyone knows that dogs are well versed at poses and stretches of all kinds. What is perhaps less obvious is that some of these stretches have deeper purpose and meaning than a less aware being might anticipate. No activity is undertaken without a good, long stretch, maintained while gently breathing innnnnnn and ouuuuuuuut. Upon awakening, and before lying down to rest, before eating and after playing, KimKim manages to look for all the world like a very small, furry yoga expert. Based upon this realization, I have re-dubbed him "Sidbarktha", and have decided to follow his path.
That being said, I've also taken the advice of my good friend Robin, who steered me towards Proformance Rehab to great success, and now has pointed me towards the 8 Limbs Yoga studio. Never mind that he goes there to pick up women dressed in loose but somewhat provocative clothing, stretching themselves in every direction possible. Just to be clear, I am not there to pick up women (or to be picked up, either) but have found the environment both relaxing and challenging. As is true with any yogic practice, there is a lot of emphasis on breathing. If you do it right, you really can't think of anything else, which can come as a welcome relief. The dog's got this one down pat, too.
From what I've experienced thus far, they put on a damn fine Yoga class for the bodily challenged. I was most impressed when during the first moments of the first class, she asked for our names and injuries. Just like that. Okay, could be to protect themselves from liability claims but as with all physical activities, I did sign a waiver. I choose instead to think that this is in fact a good sign; a compassionate being sign.
I'll let you know how it goes.