Doga. Some people will probably think this is kind of goofy, but this can be just what you need when you are looking for a good “cheer up” activity. How can you not smile when you look at your pooches little face? Any time I roll out my yoga mat, Kai is right under my nose trying to play or snuggle up with me. I decided to try to embrace her wanting to hang out with me on my yoga mat, which brought me to doga…yoga with your pooch.
There isn’t a science to dog yoga poses, and I wouldn’t say it’s comparable with the different types of yoga practices. You can think of it as a good time to relax, both you and your dog, while having a nice stretching and bonding session. I had received a doga book from a friend a while back, and have looked at different websites, but in the end, I’ll just incorporate Kai into some basic seated floor poses and stretches.
It makes me laugh how relaxed Kai gets when she hops on the mat with me. After she figures out I’m trying to relax and not play, she’ll settle in and let me give her a little belly rub and a good stretch. She’ll turn into playdough and let me mold her as I stretch and move around too. Denali, our German Shepherd, will usually lay close enough to keep a watchful eye, but not too close that she gets sucked into a sun salutation. Ha!
I find that this is a great way to settle down after a long day. I get some nice gentle stretching in and Kai does too! Not to mention a little massage and snuggle for her. Some people like to use their dogs as a weight to add pressure and create a deeper stretch. I haven’t gotten to this doga point with Kai, but who knows, maybe sometime in the future. Dogs are so playful in nature, so don’t fret if Fido isn’t too keen on laying in shavasana. You could even try attempting your first doga session after you’ve taken them on a long walk or run so they are ready to lay down and relax a little.
Once they see how fun and relaxing it can be, they’ll be puppy dog eyeing you to let them on your mat the next time you pull it out.
Have any of you ever tried incorporating your pooch into a yoga pose or two with you? Let us know how it went!