There is no such thing as “not flexible enough for yoga”

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 6.30.30 PMIf you can walk, you can do yoga.

And even if you can’t walk, you can do yoga.

I love this time of year because of all the holiday parties. My husband and I make the rounds to see friends and family, and an extended network of neighbors and acquaintances we’ve developed in our many years of living in Memphis.

There are some people that I see only at this time of year. It’s great to catch up and hear what people have been up to, and swap stories about the previous year.

Sometimes people want to talk about yoga.

There are several refrains that I commonly hear when I am out and about.

  • I wish I could do yoga but I’m not flexible at all.
  • I can’t even touch my toes.
  • I could never touch my toes.
  • My hands (or wrists) can’t bear weight so I can’t do yoga.
  • I went to a yoga class once and it was too hard.
  • Yoga is not enough of a workout for me. I like an intense workout where I sweat.
  • My doctor says I’m too flexible (or stiff or old or injured or blah blah blah) for yoga.
  • My mother told me I’d never have good posture.

None of these things have anything to do with your ability to do yoga.

If you want to practice yoga, you will find a way.

You will try teacher after teacher until you find the one who is the right fit for you.

When people talk to me about yoga when we are just hanging out, I take that to mean that they are interested in it.  Even when what they are saying is why they can’t do it.

If you have heard yourself (or a friend) saying any of the above, let’s talk.

Sometimes you have to overcome your “can’ts,” “nots,” and “never haves,” before you can find your “will, your “want to,” and your “must do.”

I’d love to help you find your way.

Email me.

A doctor who speaks the language of yoga

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 4.09.43 PMI arrived at Dr. Slattery’s office yesterday feeling anxious about how things are going.

But after this doctor’s treatment, I felt like a whole new person.

Walnut Grove Animal Clinic caters to cats and dogs, but I must tell you they also know how to treat a person!

On my newly-adopted poodle’s first vet visit, I had a list of questions a mile long – contributing to my tension.  Is he eating enough? Is he eating too little? What about accidents in the house?


Well, let’s just say this vet’s office had me at ‘hello!’

First, no forms.  No clipboards with pens from drug companies. No reams of paper asking for my signature. The receptionist asked the pertinent questions like “Why are you here to see the doctor?” And that was it.

Second, no waiting.  The waiting room looked comfortable enough, but I can’t tell you for sure because we never sat down.

The vet tech escorted me and my new pup immediately to the treatment room.

After she asked me a few easy questions (again, no forms!), Dr. Slattery and his big smile walked into the room, shook my hand and took Pup’s paw.

“Looking good!” he said.

Wonder how my next visit to my primary care checkup would go if the doctor entered the room with this line.

The doctor gave Pup a thorough looking-over, and pronounced him healthy and “normal” – pending the blood work and urine sample.

“At this point we have every reason to believe this is going to be a great dog for you – possibly one of the best relationships of your life,” he said.

Wow!  I liked the sound of this.

Slattery’s philosophy on dog ownership sounded so familiar to me, it made me wonder if he studies the Yoga Sutras.

“The most important thing is awareness,” he told me. “It sounds like common sense,” he said, “but everything depends on awareness. If you listen to him and learn what he likes, you will know your dog.”

He told me to try different things to see how Pup responds. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else.

“If you spend time with him and stay aware, then you and your dog will have a long and happy relationship,” he said.

Who would have thought that raising a dog could be so much like practicing yoga?

Yoga practice helps me become aware of my body and myself. I pay attention to my body – listen to it and learn what it likes. I give it the kind of food it wants, and avoid things that makes it sick or sluggish.

I get to know myself from the outside to the inside.

I’m planning on having a long and happy relationship with my dog and with my body.

Finally, Dr. Slattery’s treatment that put my feel-good meter over the top:

At the end of our visit the good doctor looked me in the eye and said, “You’re doing a really good job with him. Keep up the good work.”