On a recent Friday, I woke at midnight and decided to take my pug Porkchop to a 24-hour animal emergency care clinic.
We always know when our pets just aren't right. She was breathing in a way I'd never heard, her belly was distended and she seemed to be in pain. Her tail, usually tightly curled, was unfurled and limp - a sure sign something was wrong.
When we arrived, they whisked her off to a back room and put her in an enclosure with pure oxygen. She's probably never breathed so well in her 91/2 years. There was no official diagnosis, but after several hours and a shot of pain medication, she seemed a bit more normal.
Twenty-four hours later, she was back to her normal puglet self.
As you can guess, I was a scared mama in that waiting room. The veterinary technician who helped us could tell. She pointed out the tea in the waiting room, and then said she had some chocolates behind the desk that I was welcome to have.
That gesture of kindness made all the difference. I felt seen in that empty room, and taken care of.
Consider the infinite number of opportunities you have every day to do a little kindness for somebody else. Let somebody into traffic, shovel your neighbor's sidewalk, get a cup of coffee for your coworker - all so easy to do, yet the repercussions can be so big.
This might have nothing to do with yoga, or it could have everything to do with yoga.
Yoga, to me, is a kindness you initially give to yourself. But the consequences of taking that action reach far beyond you. The practice of yoga can help you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally, and help you greet the world with a bit more generosity of spirit for all those with whom you come in contact. And then those you have treated gently will be more inclined to treat others in the same fashion.
Instead of a vicious circle, it starts a compassionate one.
Who knew a simple sun salutation could be a gift to the world?
Mulson's column appears biweekly in Health and Wellness. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.