Breathe, Fido, breathe. Good dog.
The practice of doga—doing yoga with your dog—has piqued the interest of dog-loving yogis everywhere.
While most of your bonding time with your pooch probably takes place on the couch—your furry friend curled up on your lap or at your feet—doga offers a unique experience that can deepen and enhance the bond you share together.
No, your dog will probably never be able to do a headstand – but downward dog comes quite naturally.
Though doga isn’t about your dog’s ability to perform yoga poses … your dog is incorporated into various poses as you carry on through your usual practice.
To start, simply begin on your own, and as your pup becomes more curious, encourage him to participate. This could mean resting your head on his back during child’s pose, gently stretching his limbs while in triangle pose, or, if you have a smaller pooch, picking him up during warrior pose 1.
There are several poses that are perfect for all kinds of yogi/dogi duos, and your pup will let you know which ones feel the most natural.
Practicing yogic breathing together can synchronize the flow of energy between you and your dog and create a soothing effect on your dog’s central nervous system. Dogs can also experience improved circulation, increased range of motion and relief from stress and anxiety.
While some doga practitioners engage their pooch continuously throughout the session, others simply allow their dogs to mill around near their mat, creating a social and spirited energy.
Much like yoga, doga emphasizes harmony and connectedness. It’s an opportunity to explore boundaries and co-exist in a mindful way that transcends typical human-dog relationships.