Why You Should Start Doing Dog Yoga

By Amy Davis

Yoga is a peaceful and relaxed state of mind that has become more widespread as people seek to experience more unity and reduce stress in their lives. Surprisingly, this global awareness has been extended to our pets as pet owners try to become more connected with their furry companions in new and unusual ways.  

Additionally, more pet owners are spending less money on common dog grooming tools and more money on different doggy experiences that have longer-lasting effects.

Introduction to Doga

The notion of dog yoga was made public by Suzi Teitelman, an expert yoga teacher, who saw an opening to incorporate her favourite pets into the mystical yoga ritual. But what is the meaning of dog yoga and how does it help your dog? Here are 5 functional benefits of dog yoga.

5 Benefits of Yoga for Dogs (“D-oga”)

1. Bonding

Dog Yoga is an incredible way to relate to your dog in a more natural way. With daily strains and general life worries catching up on so many people, it’s not uncommon for your dog to become a natural sponge for negativity. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and tension in your dog and may lead to undesired dog behaviour problems. Dog yoga is a useful way to get up, get out and become connected to a new family that will stimulate peace and tranquillity in any dog.

2. More Exercise

All healthy dogs need constant daily activity and “doga” is a very manageable way to increase physical activity for both you and your canine friend. Senior dogs or dogs with injuries will actually benefit the most from this practice.

Animal yoga is a gentle form of exercise that will improve blood flow and help mobility, which will benefit injured dogs greatly and is a smart alternative to other more costly remedies.   

3. Relaxation

“Doga” stimulates greater levels of relaxation and mindfulness in dogs and is the ideal place for hyperactive dogs or those that have behavioural outbursts.It helps to teach composure and simultaneously supports weight loss, making it an excellent reason many members return for various sessions.

4. Meet New People

Dog yoga is a wonderful way to meet different people. Most dog yoga enthusiasts share the same opinions of peace, tranquillity and open-mindedness. This keeps each class warm and helps the entire process work with much less friction than other types of dog classes

5. Entertainment

Whether you enjoy the thought of being mindful and relaxed at the same time as your dog or you just enjoy the light-hearted activity of seeing dogs stretching, it’s always a win-win.   

If you want to give it a go then the best thing to do is contact your local health centre or your nearest yoga studios. Sometimes even animal shelters will be open to the idea and you never know, many places may already have classes in session. 

If you can’t find a local “doga” workshop then it’s a great chance to get creative and create one yourself. Dog yoga is getting more and more popular and now has never been a better time to give it a go!  

7 Practical Doga Pose Everyone Can Try

Pose 1: Relaxed Breathing

This first pose is to help you get relaxed. Begin by sitting down with your legs in a crossed position and have your dog sitting on or near you.  

Start to breathe, concentrating on each inhale and exhale. Start to think about your dog and try to sync with their breathing. Focus on how much you love your dog and how much you value sharing this experience with them.

Try to sit still doing this for around two minutes before you gently get up. You can massage your dog if they are getting restless. 

Pose 2: Chaturanga

Another excellent pose to start with is called Chaturanga. Ask your dog to lay on their stomach and rub and massage their back lightly. 

The benefits of Chaturanga are profound and will help your dog to find their centre and enhance the balance in their legs and arms.

You can also do this pose together, with your head facing your dog. This will help create a union between you both and stimulate a more fulfilled experience. 

Pose 3: Heart-to-Hound Mundra

This pose is great for connecting with your canine. Start by sitting down with your legs crossed. Your dog should be in front of you facing ahead. Now, put your hand over your own heart, and place your other hand over your dog’s heart. 

Once you are both synchronised, try to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. 

This is a very harmonious pose that most doga classes teach. 

Pose 4: Chair Pose

An uncomplicated yoga pose is the Chair pose. Ask your dog to sit back on their hind legs. Now, hold your dog around the middle of their back and once they are still, help hold up their front paws.

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Next, lightly massage your dog’s arms and shoulders while simultaneously lifting their legs to help stretch their back. 

This is a powerful pose for beginners as it is relatively easy to do. 

Pose 5  Sun Salute

This pose helps to stretch your dog’s joints, muscles and will assist them with simple body movements. Start by sitting down and carefully lift your dog’s hind legs in the direction of the ceiling. Now, hold their thighs and start massaging the top of their thighs with your hands

This pose can improve stretching the abs and the hips while strengthening the joints and muscle around the front legs.

Pose 6: Puppy Paw Mudra

Ask your dog to lay down with their front legs extended out in front of them. Kneel behind your dog so that you can gradually put your head on their back. 

Place your hands over your dog’s front paws and extend both arms out. Turn your head to one side and breath in and out deeply.

Pose 7: Savasana

This is a great pose to end your session with. Lay down on your back and put your dog directly on your chest.

Close your eyes and try to focus on breathing in and out. Pet and massage your dog as you breathe and relax into the pose.  

The goal of this pose is to have your dog snuggle with you as you both wind down from your session 

About Amy

Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat, and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences on my blog: Ultimate Pet Hub

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