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  • James Glover

Story 14: DeDe and Lily-Poo do yoga

Updated: Jul 19


For once Dede was having a quiet moment to herself. In the quietness a thought popped up that she wasn’t getting any younger. She’d had this thought before and it had always brought her up with a jolt. I’m careful with what I eat, she said to herself, but do I do enough exercise? She loves to go dashing, jumping and swimming, but what is she doing to keep her joints supple?


Recently she’d read in her lifestyle magazine the importance of keeping supple as you age. The article had a photo of one doodle who hadn’t taken good care of itself and was forced to see someone called a physiotherapist. The article gave a long list of pills and supplements to add to food, but quite frankly, she thought, it felt too much like a fad. Surely a good balanced diet is all anyone needs?


As Camber is such a happy place, time passes very quickly, so in no time at all it was next Wednesday.

When the others came back from their dash in the dunes, she told them what she’d been thinking, and how perhaps they should consider keeping themselves more supple. Lily-Poo said, "we should all take up yoga, I’m told it’s very good for keeping our joints supple".


Dede thought this might be her answer, but didn’t fancy going alone. One by one she asked the others if they’d like to come with her. Harley said he knew about the funny outfits and it was definitely not for him. Dante hadn’t heard of yoga and after being told it included stretching exercises decided it sounded too slow for his liking. He preferred more active sports and in any case he did a stretch every time he woke up from a nap. Surely, that was quite enough?


Lily-Poo said she’d heard of yoga classes in Chislehurst and thought it looked fun. The only criticism she could think of was the refreshments they served afterwards. A neighbour had told her she had been forced to drink carrot juice after every class.


Up to this point Phoebe had kept silent, but now it was her turn. When she was told that yoga didn’t involve muddy puddles or filthy streams, she concluded it wasn’t for her.


The lack of enthusiasm from the others didn’t put Dede or Lily-Poo off, they decided they would find out if classes were ever held in Camber. They didn’t mention it further all afternoon, preferring to soak in the sun and watch the tide come in.


As they were walking back to catch Billy Train, Dede glanced at the noticeboard on the side of the cafe wall. To her surprise she saw a poster advertising yoga classes every Wednesday at 11:00am in the village hall. On the spot Dede and Lily-Poo decided they would definitely go to the next one

That evening Dede sent Lily-Poo a positive thought suggesting they think about what they would wear at yoga and where they might buy their outfits. Lily-Poo replied saying she knew the perfect shop. They must visit the Lyndsey de Latour Dance & Yoga Studios in Covent Garden, as they have everything any doodle would need for the smartest of yoga classes. Neither of them really fancied travelling to London, as it was so much easier to shop online.


After searching the website, they were surprised how expensive the outfits were, even the ones in the sale. They thought do we really want to spend so much money on something they might only wear once? Quickly they decided to give Lyndsey de Latour a miss.


Dede suggested that as they were only learning they would wear their fleece coats for the first couple of lessons. Then if they really enjoyed it, they could splash out on the fanciest of yoga leotards. Lily-Poo thought this an excellent temporary solution, although her fleece would certainly need a good wash on the hot cycle before she next wore it.


The only thing they would need were yoga mats. Luckily they’d seen some in the beach shop in Camber at very reasonable prices. Next day, they called into the shop on their way to the beach and bought a lime green one for Dede and bright yellow for Lily-Poo. Now they were ready for next Wednesday.


As Camber is such a happy place, time passes very quickly. In no time at all it was next Wednesday. So just before 11:00 o'clock Dede and Lily-Poo left the others on the beach and ran to the village hall, with their yoga mats strapped to their backs.


They were met at the door by a lady with grey, swept back hair called Hermione Johnson-Butcher. Hermione was one of those furless two legs they knew they would like. She was immediately gentle and they could see she was kind.


Hermione suggested they find ‘their spot’ and lay out their mats ready to start the class. Luckily the class was not full, so they had plenty of room to spread out in the hall. When everyone had settled Hermione walked to the front. She turned towards them, bowing with her hands held together in front of her. Dede thought this was particularly nice.


Hermione explained that they would do some warm-up stretching exercises before moving on to the yoga poses. Neither Dede nor Lily-Poo found these too difficult and were so relaxed after the first two, they could have dozed off there and then.


They think the first pose was called the Adho mukha svanasana, but it was such a mouthful they couldn’t be sure. Luckily it involved arching their backs, which both of them could do quite easily. Where it got difficult was when Hermione asked them to slow their breathing down at the same time. Doing two things at once is not easy even for two sophisticated doodles. Rather than show herself up Dede decided to hold her breath completely so it looked as if she was breathing slowly. This turned out to be a bad idea because after a minute she was forced to make a gasping noise which made everyone turn around and stare at her.

After a little rest they were ready to move into the last and most difficult pose of the class. Hermione explained they would do the Vriksasana. To their surprise the Vriksasana involves standing on your back paws with the front paws raised above your head!


Both Dede and Lily-Poo found the standing on two legs the easy bit, they are used to jumping-up even when they’re not supposed to. The difficult bit was lifting their front paws over their heads, while also breathing slowly. As far as Lily-Poo was concerned, standing on her back legs trying to lift her front ones over her head, only caused her to breathe all the faster.


They both tried very, very hard to do what Hermione told them, but somehow doing three things at once was simply beyond them. Dede could also easily stand on two legs, but every time she lifted her front paws over her head, she fell over. After several attempts she decided she’d had enough and before getting anymore bruises would sit and watch the others. The moment Lily-Poo saw Dede sitting down, she did the same. It had been quite enough yoga for one class!


When Hermione dismissed the class they rolled up their mats and walked to the door. They turned back and waved good-bye, as Hermione shouted “I hope to see you next week”


Once they were safely out of Hermione’s earshot, they both looked at each other and burst into giggles. As they walked towards the beach, they tried to imitate the poses, and after each pose they laughed a bit more.


They found Harley, Dante and Phoebe sunbathing in the dunes, eager to hear how they got on. Without a smile or a giggle Dede said it had been easy-peasy, and that there was nothing to it. At this point Lily-Poo couldn’t hold it any longer and burst into laughter. She told them all about the different poses, how they had to breathe slowly and how they had fallen over so many times.


When they’d all finished laughing, Harley concluded that perhaps yoga was best left to the furless two legs in future. Dante agreed adding that they didn’t need Hermione Johnson-Butcher to teach them the downward dog, to which Lily-Poo added, don’t you mean the Adho mukha svanasana, Dante?


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