Calvin’s Commentary: The crazies keep getting crazier! Christians can exercise; in fact, they should, but not combined with Yoga meditation that comes from a false religion – and that means it is ungodly. If it is ungodly, it cannot be godly, so that means it is the opposite and straight from the pits of hell. There are only two powers on planet earth, God’s and Satan’s. There are no inbetweens. There is no neutrality. You are either for God or against God. You cannot serve two masters. Satan will use any method he can to deceive humankind. In Eden, he posed as a snake. Today, another form is false religions based upon ungodly practices like Yoga. I’m not saying it’s a sin to exercise with your dog. Take the pooch for a walk! Jog with your dog, just don’t practice a false religion with your dog. What I’m saying that it is wrong to practice false religions in any form. Satan always tries to pose as an innocent (like an angel of light – or wolf in sheep’s clothing). It’s little wonder that Yoga is getting to be Doga. It can only go the way of lunacy, into more craziness. When you’re fooling around with Satan, you’re bound to eventually not only act nuts, but get into nuttier and nuttier things, because Satan hates order and sanity! Order and sanity are directed by God our Father in Heaven.
[Psalms 119:133] Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
[1 Corinthians 14:33] For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
[1 Samuel 2:3] Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
Why give Satan any kind of opening in your life, not even a slight crack in a door left ajar. Slam shut every opening on Satan and stick with our God of the Holy Christian Bible, our Father in Heaven, who loves you like a Rock! ▬ Donna Calvin ▬ Thursday, January 17, 2013
P.S. If you’re like me, you likely do not know the meaning of NAMASTE, so I put the meaning at the bottom of this article. I think you’ll find that it is utterly incompatible with a basic tenant of the Christian faith, that it is the Holy Spirit of God that indwells a Christian (not the universe as Namaste dictates).
Namaste, Fido: Dog yoga is no stretch for local pet owners
Hoops, hurdles and balls line the perimeter of the tall gymnasium. The large space is normally the scene of spins, high jumps and other tests of agility.
Yet this morning, the subtle reverberations of sitar music warm the mostly vacant gym. Several thin mats — pastel blue, purple, red and pink — break the collegiate blue of the padded floor where four women stretch, breathe and find their neutral spines.
Today, there’s a yoga class.
“Start deepening the breath,” says teacher Karin Stoetzer, poised atop one mat. “Pushing your stomach out.” The students, standing on all fours like their instructor, wait for her soft prompts.
“So you’re inhaling cow and exhaling cat,” Stoetzer continues, referring to yoga poses that take animals as their inspiration. The cat stands for an acutely arched back. The cow is an opposite move that sinks the stomach, elevating the rear.
“We’re going to come into our downward dog next,” Stoetzer says. Anyone watching, however, might say the students are “stretching over dog.” Because beneath these human bridges are canine companions. A border collie, miniature schnauzer, German shepherd and Shetland sheepdog. All sitting quietly — remarkably so — as the class proceeds.
This is not any ordinary yoga class, but a “doga” class. New at Morris K9 Campus in Randolph, the workshop teaches basic human yoga moves, as well as yoga for dogs.
Doga is a practice that’s grown in popularity and evolved as yoga has become routine for more and more people — a source of stress relief, exercise and quiet. Dog-focused yoga is just the latest example of how pets are increasingly seen as family members with health needs of their own, constant friends that tag along for any number of activities.
Designed to involve both humans and their canine companions, the Morris County class, held for four weeks in December and again this month, is just the latest iteration of doga.
As the class proceeds, the dogs do not frantically circle the gym or sniff each other. Instead, they are content to just “be.” And when the human students begin to stretch their dogs — gently extending back legs to exercise their pets’ hip flexors — they are just as calm.
Heading up the class with Stoetzer, a Morristown-based yoga instructor, is Bacchus, her exceptionally Zen 2Â½-year-old German shepherd, who was once trained as a guide dog. His favorite doga move: the cat stretch.
“Every time I would practice, he would be by me,” Stoetzer says. “They feel the calming energy. They wanna be with you.”
Stoetzer teaches the class alongside Robin Lash, head pet trainer at Morris K9 Campus, a training and day care facility at which other classes include basic handling, impulse control and off-leash behavior.
Lash’s doga partner is Gabriel, her 4-year-old border collie.
“He shuts off in every doga class and he’s super high-energy,” she says. Dogs can get just as keyed up as their owners, Lash says, and may sense that tension. So a chance to deflate can benefit both parties.
“For me, it’s not just a class for old dogs or mellow dogs,” she says.
Lash approached Stoetzer when the yoga teacher was attending an obedience class with Bacchus. She’d heard about doga, but wanted to design a class that emphasized a benefit for dogs as much as owners.
“The whole goal for this class is we’re not using the dogs as props,” she tells students. Other perks are encouraging flexibility and massage, so dogs become less prone to arthritis and ACL injuries as they get older.
During the morning doga session, a 19-month-old Shetland sheepdog seems to be at one with the floor, black and white tufts falling carelessly over a pink yoga mat. The pile of fluff looks up at its owner, Flo Lewis of Rockaway Township.
“He loves that we’re in exercise,” says Lewis of her dog, named Justice for All. (“We have Liberty at home.”)
If, at any time, dogs don’t seem engaged, students are told to just “go with it,” and make any detour part of the fun. The facility also hosts a “doggy dancing” workshop, encouraging dogs to attempt “cute, clever” tricks and jump into their owners’ arms.
Still, doga shouldn’t merely be seen as novelty, says Suzi Teitelman, one of doga’s early adopters.
“Yoga originally came from animals,” Teitelman says in one of her doga videos. “Monks sitting in the forest, watching animals just be.”
Former director of yoga at Crunch Fitness in Manhattan, Teitelman got Coali, her black cocker spaniel, in 2001, following the 9/11 attacks.
She credits Coali with being a creator of doga, because the dog, now turning 12, often accompanied her to yoga classes, demonstrating a flexibility in his natural movement.
Recognizing the appeal of such a partner method, Teitelman began leading classes at Crunch called “Ruff Yoga,” in which people were encouraged to bring their dogs. As the concept took off, she hosted large-scale versions of the class in Washington Square Park and Central Park.
“I think it’s neat that so many other people want to teach it,” Teitelman says. “It’s for the dogs, it really is.”
Today, her clients include locals in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., her current home, where she hosts doga classes on the sand. Overseas doga students attend sessions with Teitelman through Skype video chat.
“I never thought it would become this worldwide phenomenon,” she says.
Striking a pose
The appeal of combining dogs with such meditative exercise — and yoga poses — isn’t lost on Chicago-based photographer Dan Borris, who, since 2009, has made a business of photographing dogs and cats in yoga poses. And has probably heard way too many “downward dog” jokes.
With his “Yoga Dogs” book (Brown Trout Publishing) and calendars — “Yoga Dogs,” “Yoga Cats” — Borris manipulates real photos of felines and canines. On the cover of the book, a cross-legged chihuahua’s front paws are tucked into the space between its legs, looking something like a dog pretzel. Most of his images position pets in similarly unnatural states.
“They’re just funny enough that people really respond to them,” he says.
In one photo, a golden retriever enacts yoga’s “warrior II” pose, which requires standing with a bent leg pushed forward, both arms pointed outward in a straight line.
In another, an eager-eyed boxer brings its head down and its front half to the floor. For dogs, it is the pose of play. To yogis, the “downward dog.”
Like Teitelman, Borris was moved to his first yoga-themed project by a dog, a friend’s English bull terrier named Otis, who would mimic his owner’s yoga moves.
“I’ve never been to an actual doga class,” Borris says. His wife, Alejandra Diaz-Berrio, is an animal rescue advocate who uses a method called Tellington TTouch on dogs during photo shoots.
An alternative healing method created by Linda Tellington-Jones, it’s based on the idea that specific lifts and touches can alleviate tension in animals. It is used in Morris K9 Campus’ doga classes, Lash.says.
Of course, just as every human doesn’t have to find yoga all that appealing, dogs don’t have to be natural yogis, either.
At the Randolph doga class, a miniature schnauzer named Tyra Barks gets a little too eager about treats being used as rewards. Staying true to her name, Ms. Barks lets a lone bark loose, penetrating the gym’s bubble of quiet.
The dog belongs to Liann Marley Marie, a former gymnast from Carlstadt who owns several other mini schnauzers. She wears a “Downward-facing schnauzer” T-shirt that seems tailor-made for the class. Tyra, she says, embraces doga as “special mommy time” away from her other pups. But the class is a treat for her, too.
“It’s so much more fun when you do it with your dog.”
By Amy Kuperinsky/The Star-Ledger on January 17, 2013 at 8:08 AM, updated January 17, 2013 at 10:21 AM
For information on classes, visit morrisk9campus.com and click on “specialty classes.” Read More: http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2013/01/dog_yoga_doga_new_jersey_nj.html
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