Some advice from a were bear character in my new book, just for fun
THE ABSOLUTELY ACCURATE ADVENTURES OF THE BEST DRAGON EVER
BY MERLYN EFFANS
AS ADAPTED BY NANCY DEUTSCH
Shape shifting is both an art and a curse requiring much study and practice. Let's face it friends. It is both a lifetime commitment and a compulsion. So, you better get it right so you can get it on! I am here to help. You can make Changing into your own personal art form and become the envy of all your were friends. Who wants to be a clumsy oaf when you can be an artiste?
First of all, let me state categorically that shape shifting hurts. Especially the first few times or if you haven't done it in a while. At the risk of discouraging young were folk I have to be honest and say that it is a twitchy itchy ouchy nearly unbearable experience to undergo at first, but don't get discouraged, the process does get faster with experience and time and much more bearable until a beast becomes a changing adept and then you bearly notice any discomfort. Having stated this, I can tell you that there are some practical things that a young were beast or (even an older one) can do to make the conversion from beast to human to beast again much more pleasant.
As any who have witnessed or experienced the Change can attest, the process involves much stretching and pulling. Unused muscles will protest. Friends, you know its true: the stresses and rigors of modern life constantly put our muscles in knots. Were bear or werewolf, our mellow becomes harshened on a daily, if not hourly basis. Thus, changing without stretching first is an absolute NO NO. I recommend rolling out your sticky mat or a good yak rug and doing at least a half dozen basic Yoga positions at the first sign of full moon or equinox. You must find your mellow or be stiff and achy on the morning after! Try for at least twenty minutes per session. The positions of upward and downward dog are especially good for were wolfs. Sphinx position and cat stretch are beneficial for were cats while for were bears the warrior pose is most helpful. There are many good Yoga books on the market if you don't have access to a Yeti master. Check out your local vendor on market day.
Even with the Yoga practice though, I find Larry Micklebreed's Muscle Relaxant Rub to be a helpful addition to your medicine chest. Get a tub and try a rub. You'll be glad you did.
Pookahs and dragons are in a different physical category from other were folk and have different needs. Equine friends have recommended running and jogging. Running five days a week seems to keep them in tip top form. Dragons tell me that turning from beast to human form is a snap since it involves shrinking. However the opposite often involves rapidly expanding from six feet into forty at nearly the speed of light. The study of magic is thus essential if one is not going to find one's self going to pieces. Doctor Daniel Dragon's best selling scroll, Changing For Dummies, available from your market scroll seller everywhere, is highly recommended by this old were bear.
Now, I shall address a universal were beast problem. Embarrassing though it may be, we have all experienced the ripping and shredding of our clothes and loss of expensive running and cross trainer shoes. Not to mention loss of wagon keys and personal communications devices. Of course, you can wear a purse pack around your neck for gold coins and small stuff, but if you are one of those who stretch from small to big, a large chain or leather throng around the neck is absolutely essential and the banging of it against ones skin or fur can be irritating and distracting. Never a good idea with unknown foes lurking about and there's always the risk of the chain getting caught on something during fight or flight. An enemy can use it as a garrote. So, I don't personally recommend purses.
Friends, you are going to lose those i Scrolls, and pocket devices, those designer tights and Air Borden's. Ladies, kiss your Timmy Chew and Manola Slanick heels good bye. Not much can be done about this but replacement. Personally, I am not much into designer duds. I like to just keep the bear necessities around. I recommend saving your coins at Hall Mart or getting designer knock off at the Sunday Flea market. But, that's up to you. If image is more important that savings and practicality, you deserve to lose what you lose.
Remember, when living the wear beast life that less is supposed to be more. Cultivate a minimalist philosophy. Live the simple life. Study, practice, seek enlightenment. Smile, give your neighbor a bear hug occasionally. It will make feel you good inside. Just don't hug too tight. I learned the hard way that some neighbors squish easily.
One of my fellow were bears, the noble Stickleback, asked that I include a bit about the digestive consequences of indiscriminant menu selection when in beast form. As you may have heard, bears of all sort are omnivores, as are most humans. That means basically, that we eat absolutely anything that happens to be in reach. When in bear form we move quite fast, so there's barely anything that isn't in reach except maybe that pink liquid stuff that soothes the tummy after overindulging. Remember also that we tend to be a bit larger in bear form than in human form so its pretty easy to eat something that will stretch your human tummy to uncomfortable size on the morning after when you wake up and find your puny human body barely able to move for all the bloat.
I have it on good authority that werewolves have the same sort of problem with gorging themselves. So, friends do exercise a little restraint. Eat sensibly: aside from gastric distress, who wants to look like a blubber-puss and suffer from bloat? Too much red meat isn't good for the heart. Remember to include some fiber and yogurt in your daily meal plans. Fiber increases digestive efficiency and the yogurt has some of those little microbe things that promote digestive tract health. But, we all overindulge occasionally. When that happens, I have personally found that popping a half dozen of Larry Micklebreed's Gas Not pills works wonders.
In closing, remember my fellow weres, that you are special! So maybe you stand out from the crowd a little. So what? Show 'em the beauty in the beast. Make Changing an art not just a necessity. You can do it. But take care. The misstep of a thousand miles starts with a single trip. Namaste. Live long and live well.