Yoga with Your Pet

Many yoga poses have been inspired by animals, so get healthy alongside your furry friend. Find out all about Doga!
Yoga with Your Pet

It is a well-known fact that the ancient and highly-beneficial practice of Yoga is becoming increasingly popular around the world. This age-old way of life is available to everyone, regardless of location, age, gender or social status. What’s amazing is that now Yoga is no longer limited to humans! “Doga” or Yoga for dogs is fast catching on with pet owners in the US.

Does practicing Yoga with your pet mean that you are barking mad? Definitely not! The number of individuals practicing Yoga with their pets has almost doubled in the last year. Forget long walks in the park and monotonous exercises like fetch, Doga now gives you and your pampered pooch a chance to bond with each other and stay fit together.

So how does Doga work?

Dogs are very sensitive creatures and they are always in tune with your emotions. Right from the start, they learn your scent and respond to your energy levels. They enjoy spending time with you and so they have the natural tendency to accept the exercises that you enjoy.

The whole idea of Doga is to combine gentle stretching exercises with massage for humans as well as their canine partners. In a typical Doga session, you will go through the routine of –

  • Massaging your pet
  • Taking a short walk with him, while you perform easy standing poses
  • Meditating while he is around
  • Allowing your pet to work out his energy
  • Practicing various asana or poses – with him as a prop!

Most sessions last for 60 minutes at the most. Even pet experts who were skeptical about this practice when it first started have now noticed its benefits on dogs. Most dogs are calmer after Doga sessions, mainly because of the relaxed session with their owner.

Of course, you cannot expect your dog to start stretching and exercising at your very first Doga class. In the beginning, your pet may not show any inclination to join you at all. Don’t let this upset you and definitely don’t force him; continue with your Yoga routine on your own. Sooner or later, Rover’s curiosity will get the better of him and he will probably want to join you. Even if your dog is a barker at the start of the class, he will calm down once you focus on your breathing technique and calm your mind.

Does a dog need Doga?

Obviously, your dog does not need Yoga in the same way that he needs food and shelter. However, both of you could benefit immensely from Doga. Instead of practicing Yoga alone, you get a partner in the form of your pooch. Your pet will probably enjoy the extra time and attention way more than you do.

There is no replacement for exercises when it comes to canine pets. If you give your dog a choice, you will see that he prefers running with you on the beach or even talking walk in the park. Both of you benefit from these exercises immensely and vets generally suggest that you create a regular exercise schedule. However, many pet owners are happy that they can engage in activities (other than walking) with their pets. They claim that this just gives them more choice to do what they like, keep fit, stay calm and spend some time together. It is essential to get the go-ahead from your vet before taking up Doga, especially if your pet has any medical issues.

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