One of the purest pleasures of summer is doing yoga on the back deck in the evenings. Nothing has helped the hip like the gentle stretching and strengthening of yoga, and our back deck on a summer evening is a pretty peaceful place. The birds make sleepy noises, the sun lights the neighbors’ trees from underneath, and the sky provides a blue and gold backdrop. Inhale. Exhale.
Inhale a lot of dog hair.
Look sideways into a pair of liquid brown eyes saying, quite clearly, that anyone down on the floor (or deck) is down there to pet the dog, and perhaps throw his frisbee.
Ignore him. Refocus. Inhale. Exhale. Stretch forward into the plank position.
Collapse suddenly from the shock of a wet nose behind the knee. Feel some claws rake across your calf as the dog pushes forward to see if it’s time to play frisbee yet. Push him away and finish the sun salutation. Stand up.
Focus on a single petunia and bring the bad leg into something approximating tree pose. Concentrate on using the right muscles to protect the hip. Stagger suddenly as 55 pounds of dog pushes his frisbee into a knee.
Refocus. Inhale. Exhale. Do some leg stretches. Relax into corpse pose.
Be yanked back into the moment, and not in a good way, by a nose bumping a hand. Eventually, a whole furry head will work its way under the outstretched arm, because the dog will suddenly worry that you are dead, and he will never get kibble again.
When he starts to whine, get up, roll up your mat, and go inside, where he will demand a treat for saving your life. Feel your karma start to tarnish, particularly as he curls up in your chair for a nap after his workout.