I’ll be honest, I scoffed at the idea of dog yoga when I originally heard about it, then to find out there was actually a name for it!
It seems ridiculous.
Yoga no doubt has it’s health benefits, both physically and mentally. Studies have shown it’s aids with depression, pain, addiction, and much more.
But did you ever consider adding your dog into your yoga routine?
May sound crazy, but I would encourage you to try it before you dog it.
What is Doga– Yoga with your dog.
Yes, you read that correctly, adding your dog into your yoga routine truly has health benefits for both you and your dog.
What it is NOT- Forcing your dog into poses.
Simply put it’s including them in a relaxing routine with you. Allowing them to stretch if they want, roll on their backs for tummy rubs
I started doing yoga two years ago. In those two years it seems my dog and cats tend to gravitate to me whenever I’m practicing. I find that I smile more often when the dog is around. Sometimes he gets a little too lovey and I send him to the edge of the mat, I am in fact trying to workout and relax. But overall I would say it’s an enjoyable relaxing experience. It doesn’t have to be weird, or forced. Some dogs may not be as relaxed as Odin, but he’s a scrunchy faced love bug and is a great companion to have around, and he always seems to get my mood.
So let’s discuss how exactly Doga can benefit you.
- Bonding with your pooch.
Life is busy, we constantly are on the move, checking our phones, running back and forth to the grocery store, school pickup, you name it we are busy people. Often times our pets get lost in the shuffle. Odin is my daily companion, but I don’t really spend to much one on one time with him every day. So it’s a nice way to give him some attention to prevent his greedy jaws from snatching up the kids toys.
- Physical Health Benefits
Doga’s health benefits are not backed by any research, it’s really just a matter of doing something you enjoy with your pet. But it is in fact a form of exercise for both you and your pup.
If you have a chunky pooch it’s a great way to get exercise, any type of physical activity helps with blood circulation. Doga can help your pet build muscle and lose fat. It’s also a great way to encourage more training, stay, sit, wait, simple commands in a relaxing environment.
The best shared benefit of Doga is that it can help you deal with stress and anxiety. Mental stability is without a doubt one of the biggest benefit of yoga. There are plenty of other activities to choose that do more for your physical health, but when you include the mental health benefit that comes from mediation and yoga (or Doga), it’s pretty great.
It’s funny right? The idea of practicing yoga with a dog seems silly. But it’s entertaining no doubt. I find that when I am in downward facing dog, Odin will usually stand up and stretch at this time. He will try to shake my hand throughout and it makes me laugh every time. It’s those saggy jowls he has. When I’m in dead pose we joke he’s checking to make sure I’m breathing hovering his bulldog lips over my face until I pet him and he relaxes.
You can check for local Doga studios around you if you want to meet other yoga & dog enthusiasts. Or you can practice at home, or with a group of dog loving friends.
I’ll admit I was a skeptic at first, and my husband has deemed it a “hippie thing” but it’s truly a relaxing experience.
If you are struggling with depression, or anxiety, or are just feeling stressed out, I’d encourage you to practice a little Doga with your pup.