Yoga provides many benefits for the mind and body. It helps people relax, enjoy a slower pace of life and improves overall well-being.
While these benefits are enjoyed by humans, what if you could share these advantages with your dog? Such is the premise of Doga, a form of exercise that combines the words dog and yoga.
It’s fast becoming a popular fitness class with owners and dogs, providing an opportunity for both parties to exercise and also to spend quality time together.
But what is it and does it really have benefits?
Let’s discuss what this trend is all about.
What is Doga?
Doga is a class for owners and their dogs. It incorporates yoga poses and exercises that both the owner and the dog can perform together. It’s a combination of meditation, massage, and stretching.
Doga is not exactly a formal physical fitness class due to the fact that there’s only a limited number of poses that dogs can do. It is, however, still a great class that allows dogs and their owners to practice stretching and breathing exercises.
The concept of Doga was created by Suzi Teitelman, who is a dog-loving yoga teacher. There are also books and classes that offer Doga, which makes it accessible and convenient to learn today.
Doga classes are offered in many yoga studios across the US but there’s no certification to teach Doga as of yet. What doga teachers do is to study the books, attend seminars and workshops, and get tips and tricks from other Doga instructors from other studios.
For places where Doga classes are not offered, you can practice it at home with your dog. There are books and YouTube videos that teach you how to practice doga through poses and breathing exercises at the comforts of your own home, which is a great way to give Doga a try.
Before You Start
Doga is a fun, exciting, and lighthearted exercise to do with your pet. It shouldn’t be taken seriously and you shouldn’t force it on your dog. If your pet doesn’t seem to like it, don’t pressure him to do it with you. You can still enjoy doing yoga practice by yourself while your dog is lying around you, trying to copy you, or simply watching you.
Some of the poses of Doga involve very simple poses, such as letting your dog lie on his back and caressing his belly, or letting him stretch his legs with your assistance, or making him lie on the yoga mat with his stomach to the floor and massaging his back.
The poses and stretches done in Doga are very basic, simple, and fun. It’s not meant to be a means to an end like weight loss or to intentionally do it to become fitter.
Doga is simply a fun way to bond with your dog and help him get a little bit of exercise while you’re at it.
[Infographic] Doga - Dog does yoga with owner
The Benefits of Doga
Doga may just be a fun activity to do with your pet so why do it? Does it have benefits? What will you and your dog get if you try it?
Here are 3 great benefits to doing Doga:
1. Bonding Time
Dogs need quality time with their owners and Doga is a wonderful way to have bonding time with your dog. If you yourself practice yoga, it’s a great way to get your dose of daily exercise while also spending time with your pet.
Most of the poses are also assisted poses, which means you will spend a lot of time touching and caressing your dog. It creates better trust and confidence with your dog and can help the both of you create deeper connections with each other.
The more trust your dog has for you, the easier it will be for you to correct problematic behaviors.
Doga classes are fun not just for you and your dog but also for your dog and other pets and owners who attend the class. They get to meet other dogs and learn to socialize. Entertaining your dog is one of the best ways to keep them happy and Doga can be an activity that both of you can enjoy doing regularly.
3. Physical Benefits
The physical act of stretching can bring a ton of health benefits for your dog. It helps them build muscle, lose fat, and improve blood circulation. It also appeals to their natural instinct to stretch, making it an easy activity.
Stretching is also known to prevent arthritis, ACL injuries, and beneficial for dogs who are recovering from a mild physical injury.
Doga has also been shown to calm the nerves of hyperactive dogs, which means it also benefits their mental health.
The Bottom Line
Doga is a fun and beneficial way for you and your dog to exercise. While it may be difficult for the both of you at first, as soon as your dog gets a liking to it, the number of benefits in the form of deeper connection and physical health improvements make it a great activity to try.