Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 13, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page A:11




Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 13, 2016 


Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc



The world lost 
a great, world-
renowned teacher 
this week, T.K.V. 
the son of 
Krishnamacharya (the father of modern yoga). 
Desikachar’s book, The Heart of Yoga, is a beginning 
text for many teachers and students seeking to delve 
into this rich practice. With his practical, easy-to-
understand approach, Desikachar brought forth 
ancient yoga teachings and made them accessible to 
all with his “in-the-moment” methodology.

 One of the main themes of The Heart of Yoga is 
the focus on the breath. The quality of our breath 
shapes our life and tells a story of our mind and 
emotions. As Desikachar states, “The quality of our 
breath expresses our inner feelings.” Respiration is 
the very thing which sustains life and it is the point 
of origin for movement and postures which calm 
the mind. 

 Learning to breathe fully and smoothly is 
essential to positively affecting our physiology 
and psychology. A solid yoga practice should be 
based on improving the quality of the breath. With 
this focus and central theme, we are setting the 
intention to be in optimal health and balance. As 
we work with the breath in practice, it gives us self-
awareness and teaches us that we have the power 
to change our energy and our mind. Life is better 
when we breathe easy, fully, and with control. It also 
sets the stage and prepares us for further advanced 
practices of pranayama and kriya. 

 To improve the quality of your life, improve the 
quality of your breath. Begin where you are and 
make assessments on a moment-to-moment basis. 
Adjust, re-commit, and bring in the intention on 
a daily basis. Start with one-to-one breathing-- 
smooth, even, and deep inhalations and exhalations. 

 Namaste, see you in class! Let’s breathe together. 

Keely Totten 


 “Whenever you are in doubt, it is best to pause. 
Few things are so pressing that they cannot wait 
for a moment of breath.” -- T.K.V Desikachar, The 
Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice

I remember as a kid, hearing the term “bird brain” 
often used in a derogatory manner, directed at 
someone who’d just done something really stupid 
or absent-minded. To me, it seemed like a rude 
thing to call someone, but unlike many other 
words that we kids may have used to convey the 
same sentiment, birdbrain was one we knew we 
could get away with in front of the adults.

 The teasingly taunting term, “bird brain” is 
assumed to have been derived from a similarly 
insulting moniker, “bird-witted”, which dates 
back to the early 1600’s. The original term was 
used to describe a person with, what we might 
call today, ‘attention deficit disorder‘, presumably 
applicable because a bird appears to lack focus 
when flying to and fro in rapid motion, with no 
apparent direction. Ironically however, in reality 
this notion could not be further from the truth.

 The presumptuous premise behind the use of 
the ill-mannered idiom, “bird brain” is based 
on the human‘s erroneous perspective that birds 
have proportionately small brains, and appear 
to lack intelligence. In applying that thoughtless 
theory to calling someone a bird brain indicates 
that a person who acts foolishly must have a small 
brain like a bird, and therefore he must be stupid.

 The remarkable irony lies in the fact that birds 
are far-and-way more focused than the average 
human believes or perceives them to be. As a 
matter of fact, some species of birds are even 
considered to be among the most intelligent wild 
creatures in the animal kingdom, and certain 
species of birds possess some amazing brain 
capabilities that God apparently did not see fit 
to instill in the human being. I’m not talking 
about instinctual behaviors, I’m referring to 
scientifically proven facts about the biological 
properties of a bird’s brain that equate to higher 
intelligence, as we humans define it.

 The most blatantly obvious example of 
bird brain brilliance was proven through an 
experiment conducted by animal psychologist, 
Irene Pepperberg at Harvard University. Doctor 
Pepperberg purchased an 
ordinary pet-store parrot that 
she named “Alex“ (a cute, catchy 
acronym for Aviary Language 
EXperiment), and went right to 
work, teaching and observing 

 By the end of the experiment, 
Pepperberg wrote in her book, 
Alex & Me that Alex could identify 
50 different objects and recognize 
quantities up to 6; that he could 
distinguish 7 colors and 5 shapes, 
and understand the concepts of 
“bigger”, “smaller”, “same”, and “different”, and 
that he was learning the concepts of “over” and 
“under” when he passed away on September 6, 
2007. It is true that a parrot will sometimes mimic 
sounds and words with no knowledge of what 
they mean, but they are also capable or learning a 
wide range of terms and concepts with a complete 
understanding of their meanings and appropriate 

 In case the intellect of a parrot does not convince 
the average human that a bird’s brain is indeed 
small yet brilliant, a particularly remarkable 
trait possessed by the pigeon is enough to turn 
any human green with intelligence envy. What 
might that be, you ask? The pigeon has an internal 
GPS (global positioning system) inside his tiny 
little bird brain. And the pigeon gets to keep his 
privacy because his GPS is non-track able!

 The results of a recent study conducted by 
Drs. Le-Qing Wu and J. David Dickman was 
published in Science, the world’s leading journal 
of original scientific research (April 26, 2012), 
describing the fact that “neuronal responses in a 
pigeon’s brain stem show how single cells encode 
magnetic field direction, intensity and polarity - 
qualities that are necessary to derive an internal 
model representing directional heading and geo-
surface location.” To put it in a nut shell (pun 
intended), the pigeon possesses a unique neural 
substrate for a vertebrate magnetic sense.

 In other words, a “bird brained” pigeon is 
capable of finding any location he wishes to find 
on the earth’s surface without having to strap 
on a Tom-Tom! Now run and tell that, Getting, 
Parkinson and Easton! Oh, and by the way, that 
thoughtless theory about birds lacking focus and 
direction definitely goes right out the window 
when it comes to the common park pigeon.

 So, the next time you are tempted to call someone 
a bird brain when they’ve done something stupid, 
think again. In fact, our seemingly flighty 
feathered friends have apparently got it going on 
when it comes to brain brilliance!

Meet kittens 
age 4 months. 
Both are cute, 
cuddly, and just plain purr-rect! Lola, tabby, is 
very smart, part explorer and part love bug. And 
Domino, white w/black markings, just wants to 
please you and cuddle. They are being fostered 
together, so we would like them to be adopted 

 Lifeline for Pets is a small no-kill rescue 
organization, and we know our cats well. We 
show some of our cats most Sunday afternoons 
at Petsmart, 3347 E. Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena, 

Adoption fee is $100 for both, which includes 
neuter, microchips, & vaccines. Our cats are 
negative FELV/FIV unless otherwise indicated. 

See adoption application, more pictures, and 
videos of Lola & Domino on our website, www. Or call 626-676-9505.

pasadena. Email: 


Frederick is a handsome dog, 
found as a stray at a local 
Walmart store. He is being 
called a Chihuahua mix, 
although he clearly has some 
other breeds in his DNA. He has 
a short white coat with striking 
black and tan markings. This 
good-looking boy is about 4 
years old and weighs around 9 
pounds. Frederick is friendly 
with people, and enjoys going 
for walks with our volunteers. 
He has a medium energy level 
and also likes to play with toys 
and with other dogs. He has 
had a variety of kennel mates 
during his time at the shelter, 
and has been compatible with all 
of them.

 Frederick seems to be a smart boy who would 
benefit from some basic training classes to challenge 
him and make him the best dog he can be. He would 
love to be part of an active family that can give him 
regular exercise and play time, and he would enjoy 
having another dog as his companion and playmate. 
Come meet this sweet boy to 
see if he can be your new best 
buddy. His adoption fee is $130, 
which includes neuter surgery, 
a microchip, first vaccinations 
and a free wellness check-up at a 
participating veterinarian. Feel 
free to call us at (626) 286-1159 for 
more information on Frederick. 
He currently resides at the San 
Gabriel Valley Humane Society 
located at 851 E. Grand Avenue 
in San Gabriel which is located 
off San Gabriel Blvd, north of 
Mission and south of Las Tunas 
Drive. To arrange a ‘Meet and 
Greet’ with Frederick, please stop 
by any time from 10:30am to 
4:30pm Tuesday through Sunday. 

 Go to and find the San Gabriel 
Valley Humane Society and every time you buy 
something 0.5% will be donated to the shelter! It’s 
easy to do and helps the shelter with every purchase 
you make! Let your friends know about this simple 
way to make a difference!


This little pup has the 
happiest spirit around. 
Meet Arthur (A4969486), 
an endearing 4-year-old 
brown male Chihuahua 
mix who came to the 
Baldwin Park Animal 
Care Center on July 6th as 
a stray from Baldwin Park. 
Weighing 13 pounds, 
Arthur has an A-plus 
personality—happy and 
affectionate, with a tail that 
just can’t stop wagging, 
and a round, expressive 
face. This sunny, darling boy is recovering from a 
leg fracture (so he’s in the medical building, away 
from public view, and will need to be evaluated by 
an outside veterinarian), but it hasn’t dampened 
his spirits. He shows signs of being housebroken 
and seems to be fine with other dogs. Arthur is a 
real ray of sunshine and will make an outstanding 
indoor pet, companion, lap sitter, and affection 
swapper for any individual or family. He is a 
volunteer favorite and volunteers would love to see 
him make it safely out of the shelter. Meet Arthur 
today! To watch a video of Arthur, please visit the 
following link: https://

 To meet Arthur in 
person, please see him at 
the Baldwin Park Shelter, 
located at 4275 N. Elton, 
Baldwin Park, CA 91706 
(Phone: 626-962-3577). 
He is currently available 
now. For any inquiries 
about Arthur, please 
reference his animal ID 
number: A4969486. The 
shelter is open seven 
days a week, 12 pm-7 pm 
Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm Friday-Sunday. 
This is a high-intake shelter with a great need for 
adoptions. For more information about Arthur 
or the adoption process, contact United Hope 
for Animals Volunteer Adoption Coordinator 
Samantha at Samantha@hope4animals.
org. To learn more about United Hope for 
Animals’ partnership with the Baldwin Park 
Shelter, as well as the many dogs of all breeds, 
ages, and sizes available for adoption in local 
shelters, visit http://www.unitedhope4animals.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: