Have you heard about "doga"? Practicing yoga has always been a popular way to unwind and de-stress, but now you can do it with your favorite pooch by your side. You guessed it, doga is yoga for dogs where the owners and pets practice together. How cool is that!
What makes dogs a good fit for yoga? Well, yoga is a practice that cultivates health and wellbeing in several ways. It offers physical, social, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits with a wide array of techniques. For example, breath awareness and self-inquiry help a yogi to live in the moment and build a sense of oneness. Dogs fit in this picture perfectly as they are hard-wired to live in the moment. As pack animals, they also help with the social/community aspects of yoga by contributing to a sense of union between themselves and their owners. Another integral part of yoga is relaxation. This is another area where dogs can contribute, since people often feel more relaxed when in the presence of a dog. These are just a few of the many reasons why dogs make great yoga partners.
How Doga Works
There are two ways to practice doga. The first is quite easy and might be a good starting place if you aren't sure which method you'll like best. Simply find a doga class where dogs roam freely throughout the classroom while the owners perform their asanas. This method is an excellent socializing activity for your dog and the presence of your pet will contribute to the peace and relaxation you feel with each pose.
The second way to practice doga is to help your dog perform doga poses. This is a little more involved, but this way both you and your pet experience the physical benefits of yoga. This form of doga can be practiced in a class or even in the comfort of your own home.
Yoga poses for dogs are actually quite practical and many need only a few modifications to be safe for your pets. Take upward and downward dog, for example. These poses are actually modeled after movements your dog does naturally.
Benefits of Doga Poses
You might be surprised at the many benefits of helping your pet perform doga poses. Here are just a few of the benefits both pet and owner experience when practicing doga:
- Builds the bond between pet and owner
- Has a calming effect on hyperactive or anxious pets and people
- Improves circulation and flexibility
- Boosts immunity and general happiness
So why not give it a try? Look up doga classes in your local area, find a time that works for you and enjoy some quality bonding time with your favorite pup.