Doga is one of the latest fun quarantine rages I have picked up with my furbabies. This is the practice of yoga exercises with your dog. One thing I have learned is that doga success should be self-interpretative. Now, I don’t think my pups will be practicing the one-legged pigeon anytime soon. But I do find doga success in its effectiveness for bonding, becoming calmer, and allowing us to get some stretches in. The benefit we are focusing on today includes the beautiful and forgotten art of relaxation. Even for busy dog moms, it can be a reality!
What Is Doga?
Doga is the practice of yoga with your pup. The word is a hybrid of dog and yoga, and is pronounced like it rhymes with yoga. This type of exercise has been around since the early 2000s and becomes more increasingly popular every year. Dogs don’t actually perfect their yoga poses, but use it as an opportunity to bond with their pup parent, provides an opportunity to stretch, and is an enjoyment for everyone.
What Are the Benefits of Doga?
Provides bonding time with you and your dog.
Helps a dog’s flexibility and range of motion.
Provides a form of exercise for both you and your pup.
It acts as a form of meditation and incorporates relaxation and breathing exercises.
Doga classes provide a great form of socialization.
Can help with dog’s behavioral issues.
Creates a synchronization of energy flowing between you and your pup.
One of my fav go-to’s includes Child’s Pose, also referred to as Balasana. This is a restorative yoga pose that helps brings calmness to your mind since your head (or more specifically, third eye) is placed on the floor. The inward fold of your body reminds your brain that you are in a safe spot. Instead of placing your hands directly on the floor, try to place them on your pup. Even if it’s just their paws. Let that soothing energy flow through them as well!
The Lotus Pose (also called Padmasana) is a great yoga move where you can incorporate touching your pup with your hands. In this pose, you begin sitting down and by bending the knee. You then place your right foot on top of the left leg to rest, where you should feel a nice stretch.
Begin by bending the knee and placing the top of your left foot just inside the point where your hip creases near the groin. Bend your right knee, and gently lift your right foot on top of the left leg. Rest your leg just inside the point where your other hip creases near the groin.
When you are in this pose and ready to start taking deep breaths, place the top of your hands on your pup. This way, they will be able to feel the calming energy while you complete this yoga exercise.
Another good doga pose to start having your pup feel your calming energy is the Hero Pose, also called Virasana. This one also has the added benefit of helping your posture. Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Place your feet on either side of your hips and make sure your heels are pointed towards the ceiling.
Instead of placing both hands on your knees, have your pup in front of you and place the tips of your hands on them instead. This will not only help relax them, but also encourage them to follow your directions and by doing so, they will receive some wonderful and relaxing reinforcement.
Can’t wait to get your dog transformed into an all out dogi? Check out this post where we discuss more doga stretches you can do with your pup to help improve their mobility and just gives them all the feels.