Yoga for Dog Owners

If you’ve been a proud yogi for some time, you’ll be happy to know that now you don’t have to practice your downward dog as you used to, but you can have your actual four-legged friend keep you company. Yes, we’re talking about Doga—a type of yoga practiced with your dog. Alongside goat yoga, which is practiced while a goat is standing on your back, Doga is another type of yoga that allows animals to be around and allows you to bond with your canine even more. If you haven’t been introduced to it before, here’s what you should know about Doga.

Benefits of having your furry friend with you

One of the best things about having your pooch with you in your yoga class is that canines are also involved in human yoga poses, but they are not doing human yoga positions. The activities dogs will do involve yogic breathing, which has a calming and soothing effect on the canine’s central nervous system. The dogs are also off-leash, allowing them to do their positions in a welcoming environment. Furthermore, you’ll be able to strengthen your bond with your pooch while making sure both your stress levels and theirs are lowered.

Nowhere without your pooch

Photo by Marion Michele

Some pet owners have a hard time leaving their furry friends at home while they’re in their yoga class. Whether it’s because there is rarely someone to look after them, or because you can’t keep them in place while you’re doing your poses at home, with Doga you don’t have to stress over the thought of what to do with your pooch. Simply bring him to your class and start doing yoga together. However, if you plan to attend a Doga class, check if the room where you'll be doing it is equipped with air purifiers and is clean enough for you to roll over with your pooch. Furry animals are carriers of various allergens and, in combination with the dirt they bring on their feet on the way to yoga, can turn the floor into a breeding ground for various germs. That's why it's essential that the room where you'll be practicing has some means of cleaning the air and keeping it fresh, like air purifiers for allergies that will filter out all the allergens and provide you with lots of fresh air. A fresh breathable environment will help you, your dog and other yogis to achieve the ever-needed harmony and calmness.

Dog as an Object

In Doga, you’re supposed to work with your pet as one unit. You need to be there and assist your canine in facilitating different poses. You can also use your pet as a prop or instrument while perfecting numerous yoga poses. If you’ve been looking for a unique way of practicing non-traditional yoga, you can't find a better one than that. Also, you'll incorporate good training, while exploring power play dynamics with the dog. You can lift them up and even have them sit on your chest for added weight as you stretch back to touch your feet.

Dog as a Partner

Photo by Evieanna Santiago

Having a canine as your training partner is another philosophy of Doga. You can have your pooch as an equal partner where you’ll be doing the routines simultaneously together. If you’re supposed to do the downward dog pose, so will your four-legged friend. Make a synchronized choreography out of your asanas (body postures that are typically steady and comfortable) and create a thrilling practice for both of you. The Doga will form a secure attachment between you and your canine, while also facilitating training, developing impulse control, promoting relaxation, and meditation.

Dog benefits

If you’ve been wondering whether Doga has any benefits for your dog, you’ll be happy to find out that it is also a form of exercise for pups. Dogs that are out of shape or overweight will benefit a lot from Doga because they’ll get a chance to be more active. It can also help them build muscle and lose fat if you start bringing him to class regularly. Doga can also improve blood circulation and appeal to your pup’s natural instinct to stretch, helping them improve their flexibility and range of motion. Hip dysplasia is one of the issues that older dogs have, and Doga can be beneficial to dogs suffering from that or any similar painful conditions.

Final thoughts

You don’t have to think about leaving your pooch at home the next time you have your yoga class, because thanks to Doga, your pup can have lots of fun and bond with you while you do your asanas. Have him stretch with you, improve his circulation, and create a stronger bond while spending quality time with your new yoga buddy.

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