Thoughts on Yoga, Dogs, and Loving What I've Got


As my kids get ready for kindergarten next month, I'm reassessing my priorities and how I want to spend my time. I've been a stay-at-home mom for 5 years, and I've finally reached the point where I've embraced that role and who I am, as I am. YAY!

I'm also dealing with a reoccurring yearning to have a dog in my life.

I'm considering returning to teaching yoga in order to make a small income—enough that I can afford to rescue a dog and bring that sweet animal energy back into my life. Then again, I'm grateful for my kitty, and content with his love, and maybe I don't want the responsibility of a dog... even if my heart yearns for the company.

Conflicted thoughts keep circling round.

For now, I'll foster. I can help save dogs from bleak fates, and help them get ready for their forever homes.

This is important to me. I want to contribute to the betterment of the world, I love animals, and I have space in my home for a dog. I will make space in my life for it, because the love is worth it. Saving a dog's life is worth it.

But I'm still hoping to be in the position where welcoming a dog into our family is a possibility that doesn't add one more bill that my partner has to pay. Time for me to have some financial independence.


So, here I am, considering teaching yoga again.

People have asked me so many times, “Are you looking forward to going back to teaching?”

My answer has been “No.” I haven't wanted the headache of marketing to fill classes, or driving to and from a studio in town. I didn't want to tell anyone what to do with their bodies, either. I've still been trying to figure out what my yoga practice looks like, because it's nothing like what it used to be.

But we built a big room in the addition on our house, specifically so I could teach small classes here. If they're preregistered and paid for, that would be the least amount of work I'd have to do. I'd serve my small local community, teach once or twice a week. This is my plan.

I've been chewing on this for a while.


This weekend, I took a free yoga class in Whistler, BC.

It was the first yoga class I've attended in over 6 years. Since I'm a yoga instructor by trade, that might seem strange, but I spent years of my life intensely learning from others and finally came to the point where I didn't want more teachers.


My philosophy now: Let the world be my teacher, but keep anyone remotely like a guru the f away from me.

I came out of the yoga class this weekend with a lot of cynicism. Admittedly, I went into it with a good dose, my chest tightening with resistance as soon as the class started. I could go off at length about things the teacher did that I didn't like, even though a younger me might've loved what he taught, maybe enough to sign up for one of his teacher trainings.


Here's a little skit between two versions of me: back in the days when I was riding a bliss train taking teacher trainings all over North America, and me now.

Me ten years ago: Yoga is the best thing ever!
Me now: Yoga is helpful. So are other things.

Then: I want to hug all the shiny happy people!
Now: Please don't hug me. I don't know you.

Then: Partner yoga is awesome!
Now: Stay off my mat.

Then: “My teacher” this. “My teacher” that.
Now: Life is my teacher.

Then: Surya namaskar all the way!
Now: Boycotts sun salutations.

Then: I can do all the advanced poses!
Now: Recovering from twins. Modifies everything.

Then: Gurus know so much!
Now: I'm allergic to gurus.

Then: Let me take all the classes!
Now: No point. I don't follow directions anyway.

circle of trees

It's humbling, to see where I've been, how far I've come, and how much I've grown into a different person. The photo above was taken from a class I taught, one I'm proud of, one that raised money for a local animal rescue. This was so many years ago.

Part of me doesn't think I should teach again because I'm so jaded from the yoga industry and stories piled up in my past.

Or maybe I'm the perfect person to teach, and I have something to offer people from a place of "I don't know everything, do what works for you."

Thanks for reading. :)

Whatever happens, keep singing your song!
Peace. @katrina-ariel
Katrina Ariel
All photos mine unless otherwise credited.

Author bio: Katrina Ariel is an old-soul rebel, musician, tree-hugging yogini, and mama bear to twins. Author of Yoga for Dragon Riders (non-fiction) and Wild Horse Heart (romance), she's another free-spirit swimming in the ocean of life. Check out her music here:
Dragon art commissioned from Liiga Smilshkalne.

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Comments 31

Yoga world has changed a lot the last couple years especially. I can hear your confusion with the yoga world and can empathize from a teaching perspective but also as a person in recovery can relate to your newfound practice. Go girl wishing you so much happiness and success on your new endeavor!

07.08.2019 18:29

It really has changed. There are so many super-star yogis raking in the $ pumping out teacher trainings, and on the flip side, studios can pay teachers less per class because there's so many people who want to teach. I'll sidestep all of that. Have to in order to stay true to myself. And modifying everything has helped me see things from a perspective that wasn't available to me before, when I was able to do all the poses. Now, I'm more able to help those "mere mortals" who have injuries or aren't able or interested in doing advanced poses. I just want to stretch, to de-stress, and to do so without super loud music or partner yoga that doesn't take into consideration the fact that people have different bodies and different abilities.

Anyway, I appreciate you understanding and your encouragement. Thank you for being here! :)

07.08.2019 18:47

Somehow I totally miss this reply until now. Beautiful to connect with you. I wish you so much joy and many blessings on your journey beautiful soul. One day we'll connect I know it!

17.08.2019 10:04

Such an interesting read on how your perspective has changed over the years but my take on it from this and other posts it’s all good change and I feel you would now take your own approach to lessons that the attendees would really appreciate and enjoy

Thanks for this great post and being an active member of @steemusa !tip

07.08.2019 19:34

Such an interesting read on how your perspective has changed over the years but my take on it from this and other posts it’s all good change and I feel you would now take your own approach to lessons that the attendees would really appreciate and enjoy

Thanks for this great post and being an active member of @steemusa !tip

07.08.2019 19:34
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07.08.2019 19:34
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07.08.2019 19:34

Having your own small place for practising with small groups is awesome! I'm at this point where I'm probably looking to start my own classes - in order to practice some aikido, even tho I'm not sure that is a wise idea.

Anyways - regarding Guru's I tried to find one quote which is about - after some time in any form of activities (Aikido) once you master it - there is only one path tto follow - your own.

Reading your post really made me go grab "The Art of Peace" again and devour it... Here are some more wise words I see that you have mastered already ;)

Study how water flows into a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also, learn from holy books and wise people. Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees should be your teacher.

There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit - love.

Hope everything goes well and you get your doggo soon! Doggos are great, as well as cats and the nowadays you is awesome! :)

Yoga is awesome! I would gladly take classes from you! :)

I'm still beginner and need teachers but there are clearly things I don't like with some teachers but you know practising for my own good and not forcing the things I don't like (and I didn't have twins) ;)

Hope you don't mind this very long writing - I'm really inspired with this post being the first thing to read in the morning :D

07.08.2019 20:49

I wish you all the best luck and happiness for you and your dog.
Remember, the dog only have one best friend 🙏

07.08.2019 21:14
Thanks for sharing your experience with us!
You have been curated by @freedompoint on behalf of Inner Blocks: a community encouraging first hand content, with each individual living their best life, and being responsible for their own well being. Check it out at @innerblocks for the latest information and community updates, or to show your support via delegation.
07.08.2019 22:18

Thank you for the sweet support!

08.08.2019 18:27

It is funny, but, my perspective changed on many things, but, only after I started having kids and allowing that experience to mold me. Okay, to be fair, there were changes, but, when there was someone else that was depending on me, everything in my life changed.

I could no longer be that self-indulgent, spoiled me, me, me person. Okay. Now i said it. But, it was true. Suddenly, my life didn't revolve around me and even though I didn't embrace the changes, I found myself evolving into a different person, someone I didn't recognize.

But, I am so comfortable with her now.

So, your life is about to change again and my thoughts are that you should sit back and let the change happen before you plan ANYTHING. Give yourself a moment or three and allow the universe to direct your path. You know it will. It has a way of doing that without your permission.

Just breathe.

Something you haven't been able to do for a while. So no dogs, no work, nothing for a moment or three and give your head time to wrap around the knowledge.

You will be happy you did it. Maybe. ;) Love to you! Good luck with the boys and school! Woo-hoo!!! Let freedom ring!


08.08.2019 13:31
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08.08.2019 13:31

Love this post, and I can relate on so many levels.

But the part that had me laughing out loud was your "Then - Now" give and take, because your "Now" responses sound so very much like me.

Stay off my mat indeed. ;-)

I never became an instructor, partly because I found so few instructors I could stand taking classes with, because of the highly competitive atmosphere in their classes . . . WTF??? Competitive yoga???

Yoga is first and foremost an individual practice, every body is different, and quite frankly, while I'm fine with being led to different poses, being told what to do and how, and being shamed because I'll continue listening to my body over any instructor, kept me from returning to a number of classes over the years.

My two favorite yoga instructors, both of whom became good friends, were all about listening to your body, never taking a pose to the point of pain, and being kind to yourself on the occasions when your body says no. As well it should be.

I've yet to find a decent class in Tennessee, so my practice here has been more sporadic, but I do still do basic stretching poses to keep myself from freezing into place. ;-)

As for getting a dog, I commend you for fostering first, which I already know I would suck at, because I would want to keep every dog.

We've already had a succession of cats show up on our doorstep and announce that they live with us.

As you may or may not know, my next-door-neighbor's dog was hit by a car thirty feet from me, badly breaking his left front leg, on a Sunday evening no less. I called my other neighbor over to help, and when we couldn't reach Hunter's owner, I rushed him to the emergency vet in Cookeville.

Long story short, the owner decided to put him down, the vet thankfully refused to do so, and I immediately wanted to adopt him, as Hunter already spent most of his time at our place. We bonded over a year ago, he's a great dog, and he's already best friends with our dog Lolo.

Adopting him unfortunately isn't an option, though, as my husband was against it, our place is unfenced, we don't have the immediate funding to fence it, and the last thing I want is for Hunter to recover, only to run in front of a car and get hit again.

He's already going to lose the leg.

Worse, between my ridiculous stress levels and ongoing exposure to black mold, my long-dormant allergy to dogs has been reignited, which is exacerbated every time I go see him.

He deserves to live with someone who's not afraid to pet and cuddle with him. He's been through enough.

So, even though they have technically made me his legal owner, I have to be content with having saved his life, and let him be adopted by someone else, who will give him the great home he deserves.

Which won't be hard, since three ladies at the animal hospital have told me that they want to adopt him, and the vets all adore him. I know they'll do right by him.

Best of luck to you on your own journey, wishing you lots of great dog energy, and as much or as little teaching as is optimal for you. Thanks for the wonderful post.

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08.08.2019 18:14

I think having your own studio is perfect! It allows you to call the shots, determine when and how and who you teach and when you've had enough you close the doors! It's always interesting to see how our perspective changes over the course of a lifetime. The classes I've taken have been all over the board, beginning with good old aerobic classes many years ago. I don't think you're jaded at all, just reassessing what works best in your life right now. Exciting times with the little guys going to school now :) Backpacks and lunches!

08.08.2019 20:10

you always have a wonderful story, the poetry and most of your content are all nice. found it in #pypt discord channel

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08.08.2019 23:20

Thanks for engaging with posts presented on PYPT

12.08.2019 15:49

I love You soo much 🤗💞 and so proud of the Journey you made.
I love how you share your thoughts in past and present...really makes The changes so clear 😉

I know you have been busy in life and there are many changes, but I love how you found your peace in Who you are and The beautiful place you live.
I hope that the yoga class Will be as you wish it to be... Your class Will be sooo Lucky to have you to teach them 😊

You are such an inspiration and so much I can relate to... You are so genuinly amazing 💞
Thank you for sharing and I wish that all your Dreams Will come True. Love! ❤️

Was shared at PYPT

08.08.2019 23:27

Thanks for sharing on Pimp Your Post Thursday

12.08.2019 15:48

Good luck with your small classes at home, hopefully that works out as a suitable revenue stream. I suppose as we get older our needs and wants change - it’s all about balancing the necessities with the desires and still having time to enjoy life as well !COFFEEA

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09.08.2019 17:14

coffeea Lucky you @katrina-ariel here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

09.08.2019 17:15

I love your then and now self-talk! Life certainly molds us and changes our perspective on things. Yoga was one of the tools I used to get out of depression and is so beneficial for many ailments so you'd be doing amazing work plus working from home and for yourself would mean you could just kind of 'close shop' when you need a break. Best of luck with the way forward :)

09.08.2019 20:48
You are missed when you're not in PYPT! @saffisara shared this post and everyone thought of you and your positive energy... 💖

So, your munchkins had a birthday and are five now...? How wonderful! When they start kindergarten, at least you will begin to have a few hours of each day to yourself! I love the juxtaposition between "then" and "now" as that is the mark of a dynamic individual that is growing and changing as they go through life, not clinging viciously to old viewpoints! But then, I'd expect nothing less of you, as you are always growing and blooming like a flower, whether you feel it or not. You are amazing and remarkable. 🌺

11.08.2019 00:50

Thanks for engaging with posts presented on PYPT

12.08.2019 15:49

My God, how much your "then and now" dialogue reminds me of myself. I may have to do my own list on this. Neat idea and format.

11.08.2019 09:05

I understand longing for the truly unconditional companionship of a soft, cuddly creature. I hope fostering offers just the right amount of comfort without too much financial burden.

Thank you for sharing the intimate, internal process of finding your way back to yourself while – in the same breath – daring to leave that self behind. I appreciate the candid exchange between then and now. Sounds like you're on the right path. :)


found this sweet post via #pypt

12.08.2019 00:22

Thanks for engaging with posts presented on PYPT

12.08.2019 15:49


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12.08.2019 11:13

The ten year comparison cracked me up, especially the hugging shiny people one😂

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12.08.2019 22:58

Best of luck Princess with getting back into teaching :)

20.08.2019 19:47