I wonder what my neighbors must think...
You got it.
His name is Saratoga, but we call him "Toga".
He's 9-weeks and full of fire and mischief! I can't complain too much though, because he is still very young and thankfully hasn't yet turned my kitchen table into sawdust yet! He's just now starting to get better movement coordination and is running sideways less and less :) He can go upstairs, but is still too afraid to go downstairs, and oddly-enough he has no problem jumping off chairs!
He's been getting along great with our 3-year old dog, Gallatin. That was the whole plan, of course. Get a puppy for Gallatin, so someone else can tire him out besides us!
They play great together, and Gallatin is learning that Toga is smaller and much weaker than a bigger-sized dog. There was a day-one mishap, where Gallatin sat on top of Toga, trying to play I guess. Despite some rough playing and Gallatin flinging Toga halfway across the room....they get along great! Gallatin has never played (or snuggled) with another puppy before, so it's very sweet seeing them together.
Let's not forget about the puppy-fangs.
Those teeth....those sharp vampire puppy-teeth! Since Toga is my second dog, I'm more prepared this time to deal with the biting and gnawing-action that happens quite often on my forearm. Offering treats or little bits of dog food are a great distraction tool, especially since Toga is over-the-moon obsessed with eating as much as he possible can, as fast as he can.
One thing is true...despite the mischief, puppies sleep A LOT.
...but wait, there's more...
Despite the amount of sleeping required for little puppies, they are indeed hard work. Having Gallatin around is helping for sure, but we've been getting up 2-3 times a night, combined with constant training each day. It can be tiring and stressful, and certainly a test of patience (especially for me).
Any new situation or challenge can bring on stress and possible burn-out (if we're not careful).
And naturally, this leads us into my last piece of advice, run through a quick yoga routine.
A Short Yoga Sequence To Prevent Burn-Out
Burn-out is something many of deny is happening before we even realize it's happening.
Isn't that the truth? It's takes courage and self-recognition to admit we may be on a path to self-destruction and burn-out.
Here's a short yoga routine for taking a few moments to relax the body and mind, and destress.
1. Seated Position
2. Balancing in Table Position
This is a great set of poses to create heat and energy in the body. Move into a neutral table top position and extend one leg out straight (keeping the hips square to the floor), and the opposite arm out straight by your ear. Try not to arch or lower the lower back, keep it engaged and the low-belly lifted. Now, using your core muscles, bring your knee to your opposite elbow, and then extend back. Do this a few times or as many as you need, then switch sides and do it again.
3. Tree Pose
Tree pose is another great balancing pose, and balancing means engaging your mind to find focus and concentration. Focus and concentration through balancing will help alleviate stress and help bring your, perhaps frustrated or stressed-out energy, to a place of ease and peace. When practicing tree pose, make sure to place your foot either above your knee or below your knee, not on the knee joint. Stay here as long as you can. Engage your thighs and core. Be still and strong.
4. Chair Pose & Twisted Chair Pose
Find a comfortable chair pose but placing your feet parallel to the mat (feet either touching or apart). Sink your hips low and back, like you're sitting in a chair. Make sure your knees don't push out past the toes, you want to see your toes just past your knees when you look down. Engage the core to prevent the lower back from arching (almost try to put a little round in the low spine), and raise your arms high, keep your shoulders away from ears. To get into a twisted chair, allow just your torso to turn to either directions, and bring the elbow to the top and edge of your knee. This may take a little bit of adjusting, do your best to keep your legs facing straight forward.
5. Lunging Back Bends
Our last pose will be a strong and lengthy Warrior I pose. Bring your forward leg to the top of the mat and parallel to the edge. The back leg will be at a 45 degree angle, or you may keep that foot on the toes. The back leg knee should at last have a slight bend in it, if not a deeper bend (bend that knee enough to keep your hips aligned forward and square. Engage the thighs and core (notice a pattern here?), to keep the legs a strong base and the low back from arching. Push away from the center of the mat with both feet, feeling strong and long. Raise your arms high (shoulders away from ears), and feel free to give yourself a little back bend.
Note: When back bending, remember to always lift the chests first and keep the core engage, so not to crunch the low back. Expand the middle (thoracic) and upper (cervical) part of the spine.
Tell me, did you feel the stress begin to melt away??
Hello, I'm Julie.
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