Taking cue from Vincent, the adorable dachshund who lost over 20lb
thanks to a smart diet plan and a fun swimming and workout routine, we couldn't help but wonder what else was out there that could help keep our pooches fit.
The buzzword? DOGA! Have you heard of it? As is evident from the name, it's about some simple yoga stretches for your dog and yes, you can partake in the activity, too. Very popular with pet owners, canines seem to respond extremely well to the downward facing dog-like poses because well, it's tailormade for them, isn't it?
Getting Down With Doga
This is not like those classes where your dogs are just chilling and wandering about in the room as you strike that pose. Much like partner yoga
, both parties must be roped in to do the asanas
as the owner supports the pet to execute simple stretches that won't rattle the dog; they will relax him/her instead.
The Benefits Are Real
While the whole thing may seem silly, the benefits of dog yoga are very real and it's more than just about an 'aww' moment with your pet. Here are some ways it can work for your little mutt:
- Doga helps relax a hyperactive pooch and mellows one with an aggressive personality.
- Dog stress may not seem apparent but your pooch is rattled easily; they get anxious when you're leaving them home, upset when they see you sad, overwhelmed when you come back from a long trip, territorial in the presence of another mutt, and on so many other occassions. Doga helps alleviate that nervous energy.
- All the stretching improves circulation and boosts cardiovascular function—happy heart, healthy dog.
- The stretching also aids digestion, makes your pooch flexible, improves their reflexes, and encourages a full range of motion.
- Needless to say, doga serves as a great bonding exercise between you and the dog, and your pet and other pets in the class.
There are three main elements in doga—massaging, meditation and stretching. Now, because dogs have a pack mentality, they're more likely to take cue from their owners (the leader of the pack) so it won't be as hard as you think to get your dog to participate, especially if you sign up for a class
and all the other dogs are doing the same thing.
Doga poses are modified by the instructors to incorporate the needs and temperament of the dog. Some of them can include:
1) Upward Facing Dog
2) Downward Facing Dog
3) Acro Yoga
4) Walking Meditation:
Why not watch a doga class in action before you decide to sign up for one
to be sure that it's the right investment for you and your pet? Here's a video of a session at the Seattle yoga studio: