For thousands of years, yoga has been revered for its amazing gifts both to the physical body and the mind. Increased strength, flexibility, inner peace and open mindedness are just some of its wonders. But can yoga affect your pet the same way it benefits you?
Introducing DoGa: Yoga for you and your furry companion. Recently, many Yogis have realized how they can share the practice with their pet. It strengthens the connection between the dog and its owner. Often times, the dog is used as props during the practice to add a little weight and increase intensity to poses, as a Yoga partner or sometimes they just lay around the corner while their guardian is practicing on the mat.
Animals are naturally sensitive to emotions and energies. Dog owners who participated in DoGa sessions claim that their pet behaves better, calmer and more focused. DoGa is also great for pets who have suffered trauma in the past both physically and emotionally.
Having a pet, alone, is already a great stress buster. What more if you combine both yoga and your pet at the same practice?
Relaxation at its best!
Yoga calms the nervous system, lowers blood pressure and releases tension both on muscles and mind. Spending time with your favorite buddy doesn’t get any sweeter. You and your pet can socialize more with like-minded Yogis and Dogis. The status of ownership is neutralized as you and you furry friend become one during the practice.
Big or small? Size doesn’t matter when it comes to DoGa. Though big pets can restrict you from lifting during some asanas, they can still participate by simply resting on their person’s lap on seated poses or just by lying near the mat observing and absorbing energies.
You can involve your dog gently through guided stretches and poses their bodies allow them to perform. Don’t expect your dog to show crazy postures! Even able bodied humans find it hard to carry out certain poses. Enroll in a class and be sure that you are supervised by a professional DoGa instructor before performing asanas to avoid injuries to you and your pet.
Simple DoGa asanas you and your dog can try:
Here’s some easy poses you can guide your pet through. Never force any of these asanas. You know your pet well enough to recognize if it feels aggravated or tired, so if it does, give it some time to rest. And have fun sharing Yoga’s benefits with each other!
Heart-to-Bound Mudra: Place your hand on your pet’s heart and the other on yours. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply.
Chair Pose: Let your pet sit on its hind legs and lift its front paws in the air as you support their body from behind.
Chaturanga Dandasana: Stroke your dog’s back gently while it lies on its belly.
Puppy-Paw Mudra: Let your dog lie on its stomach, extending its front paws out. Gently place your head on its back. Hold its front paws and slowly turn your head to the side.
Savasana: Stroke your dog’s belly while it lies on its back
DoGa not only extends it gifts on the mat. You and your pet build a deeper connection and a better understanding of each other, making everyday life more wonderful. But remember to be realistic. Your dog is not a contortionist. Be patient. Be open. Allow the practice to be a medium of emotional exchange to help you and your dog grow and strengthen your relationship.