This blurry photo was snapped yesterday morning, while I was practicing second series and listening to Mysore-based Sanskrit scholar Dr. M.A. Jayashree's recording of the Yoga Sutrani of Maharsi Patanjali.
(Yes, I practice on Saturdays - sometimes with devotional music in the background. For the record, my day off from ashtanga vinyasa yoga is usually Tuesday or Thursday, when I teach four classes).
Kirby, the cat, seems to enjoy the chanting of the yoga sutras even more than I do. (He also seems to appreciate vintage, high-end turntables, but that's another story).
Kirby seems to prefer a vegetarian diet - even though eating greens (his favorite) inevitably makes him walk backwards and womit.
He likes to sit next to me when I sit. Although he's one of those nervous, high strung cats, he becomes very calm when he does this.
He often brings his toys to the altar and leave them there, as if making an offering.
These behaviors make me think he is a yogi, trapped in the body of a cat.
I used to tell him as much.
In fact I used to tell him a lot of things - until yesterday.
That's when my teacher asked if I was practicing mauna (silence).
"That's not hard to do when you live alone," I replied.
Then she asked if I had a pet.
It was then pointed out that the practice of mauna applies to all talking - not just to people.
You cannot talk to the cat.
You cannot make little grunts or clicking sounds to communicate with said pet.
And when practicing mauna, you cannot talk to yourself, either. No more audible thoughts.
This is easier said (so to speak) than done.
Try it and see.
Kirby later in the day, listening to the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.
The ego must be destroyed, yes. But Robert Feder's referral in the Sun-Times to our recent article about the This is Hell, the best radio show in the world, was very welcome reminder that when the fruits are relinquished our toil is not for naught - which in a way is the theme of the article.