5.24.2012

Manipulation of the Canine and the Self

Writing has been sporadic, I have been suffering with motivation.  By the night of the new moon, the initiative to do much of anything had almost entirely vanished.  I moved through the world as a silent, numb observer, just a dim glimmer of consciousness in a pinkish, fleshy sack.  I am feeling better now.  Let us hope my energy levels will follow the waxing cycle.

My nights continue to be filled with long and complicated dreams rich with exaggerated symbolism, and my days are sprinkled with acute realizations falling like sharp little raindrops on my fevered mind.  Practice has been most interesting.  Took the moon day on Sunday, of course, with the way I was feeling.  Did standing and finishing on Monday morning, then a Vinyasa practice on Tuesday evening -- something I haven't done in a long time.  It was nice.  Did a lot of deep hip work.  Really tried to break a good sweat, but it was hard without that Ashtanga heat.  In spite of the low energy, I felt strong.

Yesterday, I got back to my Intermediate practice for the first time in about a week.  It, too, was nice.  Every time I opt out of 2nd series for any length of time, be it a day or be it a week, I feel an anxiety about going back to it, like it's going to be excruciatingly hard.  But the practice is only as hard as I make it and I know that.  It always feels good to pick it up again and it's never as hard as I fear.

In fact, it's becoming rather too easy.  Now is probably the time to add the next chunk of 2nd, but I am feeling blocked by Karandavasana, particularly with my solo practice and knee history...  Or maybe those are just the best excuses I can find to justify my laziness.  I know there are plenty of modifications I can work with and other project poses I can do to help me build it.  I think I need to push myself over this hump, even if it means moving on without accomplishing the full pose on my own.

"I used to do a bit of modeling..."
Matthew Sweeney is coming to Austin at the end of June for a week and you can bet the farm I'm gonna be there.  The author of Ashtanga Yoga As it Is -- an absolute gem of a book with a surprising wealth of information that is hard to find anywhere else -- will be at Bfree Yoga Austin from June 29th to July 5th with three days of workshops and four days of morning Mysore.  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to it.

Ronin is doing well in his new home.  I have been walking the dogs at least a few miles daily, and even as good as they are, it's a serious workout.  We went hiking yesterday and I kept them on leash for most of the way.  My upper back and shoulders are feeling the work.  They are quite the pair.  Unfortunately, while they are fine the rest of the time, feeding has become a touch-and-go situation.  Opie's dog aggression has taken a turn for the worse.  I could just feed them in their crates and be done with it, but I am confident we can work through this at a deeper level.  She is and always has been a real challenge.  Thank goodness Ronin is so good-natured.  I like to think his influence will bring balance to the home and Opie is merely resisting the inevitable shift.  If Ronin and I can stay calm, she'll have no choice but to relax.

7 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if this would work with dogs but with cats, a way to get them acclimated to each other is to feed them on either side of a doorway in which a baby gate is set up. You could use a screen or something too. The key is that the cats can see and smell each other but they both have the security of not being able to get at each other. Because food is a good thing, they then start to associate the smells and sight of the other cat with good things. Maybe this would work for your dogs if there is food aggression? Worth a shot. Are there any other aggressive behaviors they are exhibiting?

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    1. Thanks, Meagan. I'm beginning to think maybe I've been moving too fast with them. Might need to take a step back and crate them for feeding time after all, at least for the next couple of weeks so they become accustomed to eating side by side without anything negative happening.

      Ronin shows no aggression whatsoever, but Opie is possessive of her food and toys, and generally hates other dogs who pass us on our walks. She's always been kind of an asshole, but these past couple of days I've seen a different look in her eyes. I don't like it.

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  2. Do they have to end up eating side by side? I've always fed my dogs in two different places, just so they'll be able to eat in peace. One eats inside and the other eats on the porch. I've never even thought about trying to get them to eat in the same space.

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    1. Good idea, Karen. Honestly, I hadn't even thought of feeding them in different areas. That might be nice for them because, even when they don't fight, my Aussie inhales her food like a starving orphan to the point where she chokes and coughs. She's always done that to some extent, but it's worse with Ronin around.

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  3. I'll be doing six days of Sweeney in NC in later July :)

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  4. Excited to hear what you think of Mathew S. I really enjoyed his sequences when I did his workshops a while back. Have fun!

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    1. Thanks, Domestic! I will be sure to report back.

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