Cats and yoga teachers are very similar. They are like deities. We bow very low to these advanced creatures. We bow low enough to scoop kitty litter, clean up cat puke and deal with an eternal sheath of cat hair. We bow low enough to give up our comfort-zone for 90 minutes in order to complete their class. We bow low, and these deities grace our lives and keep us humble.
My girl cat, Tova, is my daughter. She has the entire household wrapped around her pinky claw. She is the Natalie Portman of cats, perfect in every way. This morning she was cuddled up next to my shoulder when I awoke. I got up and put my feet in my slippers to find UGHH! Little perfect Tova had left me a nice wet hairball in the right slipper, ready and waiting for me like a dead bird. It was so very unpleasant.
This is akin to when you are in one of the more strenuous postures from the Ghosh lineage, such as Bow pose, and you’re doing great, following the yoga teacher’s voice, following her cadence, and you’re giving it all you got, you’re holding out until the end: “Lift up, Lift up, Lift UP!” But then she keeps going: “LIFT and surrender into the posture. Find stillness. Hold, Hold, Hold. NOW release.” That felt like eternity. Half the class had dropped at that earlier point when we all thought we were done. But the yoga teacher is sneaky and surprising, offering gifts that in the moment make stepping onto a wet hairball seem like a pleasant sensation in comparison.
These avatars, cats and yoga teachers, they can both peer into your very soul with their transcendent gaze. By watching how they live, by following their teachings, we can learn to put ourselves in the role of observer more and more. Learn to respond with a sense of knowing our own avatar nature, our own regal state of being. When I tap into that, I am forgetting about “me” and “mine.” It feels good. The lid comes off the brain. Gardens begin to grow again. The doors of the heart open. A smiling sun, a radiant jewel and a pool of clear water are revealed.
I bow low.