6 Months ago, we began to “dog sit” my daughters dog, Chico. Chico is a four year old male, Chihuahua Mix from Florida. When my daughter, Andrea was staying in Florida, at a house, Chico and her became attached. The homeowner since then has had a baby, and this dog was too much to keep, so Andrea drove down and got Chico. The homeowner told us, Chico was high strung, barked a lot, was anxious, afraid of water, afraid of other dogs and people, especially men. That was a long list, and Chico fulfilled many of those labels when he first came to live with us.
Luckily for Chico, Andrea and I paid no attention to the labels that Chico came with. Slowly, with long walks, praise, and a different environment (we live in a cul de sac where it is very quiet) Chico became a different dog. As many of his bad labels fell away, he became confident, happy. Now he runs like the wind with other dogs at the dog park, and even came up to a strange man, and took a treat. When he saw people walking on our street, over time, his barking changed to growling, and eventually that stopped as well. Slowly, I’ve been introducing him to water. We walk to a creek everyday, and eventually, with encouragement, Chico began to step on the rocks, and even get his feet wet. With plenty of praise, (and I’m not going to lie, plenty of cheese!!) Chico today, swam by himself, without me gently tugging him into the water. You can see the fear in his face, the frantic paddle, paddle of the feet, but eventually, he falls into a rhythm and swims. And Ohh, afterwards, he is SO proud of himself. It’s like he won the lottery! He zips and runs all over the place, and I think, with a happy smile to his face.
The point I’m trying to make here, is sometimes we live our lives with labels. These “labels” get passed down from generation to generation. Here is a small sampling of labeling in your family……
- “You are good with numbers, just like your grandfather was…”
- “I couldn’t possibly do yoga, I’m too tight”
- “my, you inherited your temper from your father”
- “the baby of the family gets all the attention”
- “I guess you don’t have any money sense, just like your mother”
- “I couldn’t possibly stand up in front of people and teach them yoga”
And the list goes on and on. These labels are “inside of us”, and help shape and mold our behaviors and even our physical body. With yoga practice, you develop awareness, and these “bad or unwanted labels” leave us. What I have discovered about myself as a teacher, is that I’m especially good at tearing down these labels in you. It’s just what I do. However, what is left after those labels have dissolved? Pure happiness, joy, and run around like a happy dog is what is left. 🙂 Now, it’s all up to you. You have to make the first step in coming to yoga. I’ll take care of the rest.
See you on the mat,