Yoga is one of the most popular meditation practices around the world. It’s a spiritual discipline that aims to bring harmony between the body and mind, and it comes with benefits that cover not just physical but mental wellbeing. People of all ages and fitness levels can practice yoga. Even if you’re unsure where to begin, there’s no need to worry since there are several yoga influencers online to help you get on track.
But have you ever thought of doing yoga with your furry best friend? Exercise is said to increase serotonin, but imagine how much better your mood would be if you’re doing it with your adorable pupper. This blog will tell you how to get into this fun but relaxing activity for you and your pet dog.
What is Doga?
Doga (cleverly combining “dog” and “yoga”) started in the US in 2001, created by actress Suzi Teitelman. The name is self-explanatory – a form of yoga specifically designed for dogs and their owners to spend quality time through exercise. You might have noticed that yoga poses involve quite a lot of stretching, most of which, resemble the stretching movements of animals.
You can try doga with any type of dog, and while there are wellness centers offering these trendy classes, you also have the option of doing this at home.
What are the benefits of Doga?
There’s an array of health benefits from doing yoga alone. But doing it with your pet can do a ton of good for your furry companion too.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Health Encyclopedia, yoga can help improve various health conditions like poor blood circulation, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, lower back pain, and even help reduce tension, stress, or depression.
Apart from that, yoga can also:
- Regulate your heart health.
- Improve balance, coordination, and posture.
- Enhance flexibility and range of motion.
- Increase stamina and strength.
- And believe it or not, some specific yoga routines can improve skin health, giving you firm and radiant-looking skin.
And ladies, you can certainly do yoga even when on your period. Yoga exercises can help alleviate menstrual cramps, and also help clear your mind when experiencing period brain fog. Just make sure you’re always ready with your workout essentials such as period underwear, extra towels, a change of clothes, water bottles, etc.
Remember, you should stay attuned to your body, and it’s at your discretion to stop if an exercise doesn’t feel right for you.
For your pet:
Dogs are naturally intelligent animals. Often, they sense their human’s stress and anxiety. Which, in turn, can affect their behavior and cause them to be distressed. Doga allows them to develop control over their impulse, ease their anxiousness, and even help manage hyperactivity.
- Doga is a great exercise if your dog is overweight.
- Doga teaches your pup to trust you more.
- Gentle stretching poses in doga can be good therapy for dogs recovering from injuries.
- Like other physical activities, doga improves your dog’s blood circulation.
- Your pupper can meet and socialize with other dogs.
How to Start Doing Doga
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re interested in doing yoga with your dog:
Choose a yoga routine appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and fitness level.
For instance, a young, small dog may not be able to handle a more advanced routine, while an older, larger dog may need a more gentle approach. Ultimately, the best routine for your dog is one that is safe and comfortable for them, so be sure to consult with your veterinarian or a certified yoga instructor before getting started.
Don’t forget to warm up before starting your yoga session, and be sure to cool down and stretch afterward.
Warming up helps increase your heart rate and prepare your muscles for the workout. On the other hand, cooling down helps reduce your heart rate and prevents your muscles from becoming stiff. Stretching helps to lengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility.
Have patience, especially if your dog is new to it.
Much like pet training, doga can take time and dedication. It’s completely normal for dogs to not be used to the poses and flows immediately. Never force them, and let them adjust to it at their own pace.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the bonding experience with your furry best friend! Go and make the most out of it!
Which basic Doga poses can you try?
When doing yoga with your dog, it’s a good idea to start with basic poses before moving on to more advanced ones. Here are a few examples:
The Downward Facing Dog
This posture resembles a dog stretching on its hind legs extending upward, with the head and forelegs facing downward. It starts in a full push-up position before placing your hands on the ground for support, delicately shifting your weight forward until you form an inverted V with the top of your head to your legs. Most dogs tend to observe what their owners are doing first before eventually mimicking the poses.
The Chair Pose
Have your dog sit on their hind legs while you support their torso from behind. Then, slowly raise their front paws in the air and breathe deeply. Easy-peasy, right?
The Heart-to-Hound Mudra
First, sit with your dog’s back facing you. Place your right hand on your dog’s heart, and your left hand on your heart. Close your eyes and begin breathing slowly and deeply. This exercise helps soothe you and your dog and is said to expel negative energy.
Doing yoga improves your and your dear pupper’s overall wellness, and makes them feel more connected to you. If you haven’t tried it, then what are you waiting for? Contact the nearest yoga centers near you to find out more about doga sessions!
Contributing Author: Sophia Young recently quit a non-writing job to finally be able to tell stories and paint the world through her words. She loves talking about fashion and weddings and travel, but she can totally go from fashion guru to your friendly neighborhood cat lady with mean budgeting skills and home tips real quick.