Monday, January 12, 2009

Yoga with Cat

I have recently begun practicing yoga at home.  My husband was thoughtful enough to give me this wonderful book to guide me in structuring my practice. I highly recommend it. The explanations are very clear and helpful and the photos are excellent.

There is only one issue I have with this publication. It seems the book was written without consideration for the very real challenges one can experience practicing yoga in one's own home.

To rectify this, I have altered some of the poses from the book to more accurately reflect the circumstances in which I, and I'm sure many others, practice yoga.

Not-Quite-Perfect Pose
1) Assume Siddhasana, or Perfect Pose as described on p. 127

2) Hold perfectly still as cat butts head repeatedly into left hand, wondering why you're not petting it. Maintain pose as cat attempts same behavior with right hand.

3) Continue breath control while cat gives up and gets comfortable in your lap.

Downward-Facing Dog with Cat
1) Assume Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward-Facing Dog,  pp. 100-101.

2) Hold for the requisite 10-15 breaths while maintaining perfect balance in spite of cat walking back and forth under you, now and then rubbing his full body length against your chin and sticking his whiskers up your nose.

Cat Pose 
Actually, that is what it's called.  Its Sanskrit name is Biralasana, p. 37.

1) During Step 2, maintain pose and breath as cat leaps onto your back.  The added 12-15 pounds of weight will deepen the stretch. 

2) As you exhale and move to step 3, rounding your back, cat may jump down as comfortable, concave surface is eliminated.

3) Keeping back rounded and pelvis tucked, maintain balance while cat slams full body weight repeatedly into alternating arms.

4) Accept that you are not a cat and that the cat can just do this pose better than you.

The biggest challenge is to maintain "pranayama" or "breath control" while laughing. This should be its own discipline, I tell you.


Source: Brown, Christina, The Book of Yoga, Bath, UK, Parragon Publishing, 2002


  1. Dan--I think I may have figured out this comment thing...

  2. Bek, I love your humor! And photoshop abilities! Kudos to you and kitties! :)

  3. I have seen this done as recently as this morning. Our cat is REALLY weird...