We all know what yoga is right? Thank the internet and the crazy pretzel shaped selfies of men and women world over for educating anyone who might not have heard of this ancient practice about how they can heal their bodies and lives through this mental and physical meditation.
Of course, these days yoga itself comes in a few different varieties, some perform it in classes in the centre of busy gyms, some prefer to stretch outdoors alone, some (like yours truly) meditate via the aid of a Youtube video yogi in their dressing gowns and pajama’s before hopping on the tram to work, and – some people now take their dogs along to yoga with them!
It’s called Doga, and as it increases in popularity, fans are raving about it!
Of course, a four legged pooch can’t exactly stretch themselves out into a warrior, or butterfly pose. So, what exactly is Doga?
As it turns out, Doga is primarily a social experience for dogs and owners to bond. While there are some dog friendly poses, the main characteristic of Doga tends to be in creating a closer and more trusting relationship between dog and human. Many classes ask humans to stroke and massage their dogs, breathe with them and sometimes perform some light stretching. Other classes simply involve the dogs being there, present alongside other dogs and humans in a calm, friendly setting.
The idea makes sense, as many humans are already aware of the de-stressing effects of having a pet or other friendly animal around. Dogs tend to detoxify any situation, and therefore are the perfect companion to bring along to a yoga class, provided they are not too over-excited and energetic!
How to do Doga/Get Your Dog Involved:
U.S Doga teacher Brenda Bryan has invented a few techniques for getting dogs involved and encouraging pet/owner bonding time. Most of Bryan’s techniques simply involve increasing the closeness between pets and owners and creating a more comfortable setting for the dogs. To get started with Doga you could try her Heart-To-Hound Mudra, a meditation that connects you to your dog by placing one hand on your own heart and one hand on your dogs, then closing your eyes and breathing slowly.
All in all, Doga looks like a great way to have some fun and relax with your pooch. Why not try it out at home, or even email your local yogi to see if you could bring a little canine love to your after‐work yoga class!