Cats are natural yogis and I’ve learned plenty from all the cats I’ve known over the years (especially from Pippy who co-authors this blog with me). Below I share some of my insights.
- The most important pose is Shavasana aka the corpse pose or resting pose. This is the pose practiced at the end of yoga classes but my felines tell me that’s it ‘s them most important pose to practice. They have perfected this pose and practice it numerous times throughout the day.
- If you do enough stretching, deep breathing, and resting you will have little to next to none stress in your life. They should know as their stress level is practically non-existent except when they are trying to wake me up at 5am for their morning feeding and I’m not getting up as fast as they would prefer.
- When doing the classical poses, don’t make such a big deal about what you look like while doing the pose. Just because the lithe young kitten down the street looks a certain way while doing a pose doesn’t mean that every cat has to try to emulate her. Show confidence while doing the poses and act as if you were the poster child for the latest cover of Yoga Journal magazine.
- We all come in different shapes and sizes and we are all gorgeous. It would be boring if we all had the same body type or fur pattern. Whether you are a tabby, calico, Siamese, Maine Coone or any other beautiful breed of cat, you are special and lovely just the way God made you.
- Yoga also reminds us that our natural form is preferable to any outer accessories that we can adorn our bodies with. Yes, fancy cat collars with jewels and bells on them have their place but they are not near as lovely as what we look like in our natural state.
- Downward facing dog was originally meant to be called downward facing cat until the dog lobby invested millions in making the name change. (This was news to me but my cat companions swear it’s true!) At any rate, they say it doesn’t really matter because if dogs have such big egos and need the pose to reflect their name then so be it! Cats know that no species can stretch quite like them plus they say it’s an excellent opportunity to practice non attachment and keeping one’s ego in check.
- Take the necessary time to care for yourself because no one else will do it for you. Cats are always grooming themselves and making sure they have plenty of “me time” before they give back to those they love. They know if they don’t take care of themselves first they will be of little use to their loved ones or communities.
- Yoga is about letting go and being in the present. Don’t worry about the future because there will always be food in the food bowl and cat nip aplenty if you just trust your higher power to provide for you.
Meow and Namaste!