Yoga is a great way to clear your mind, focus on breathing, and get exercise. It is good for your mental and physical health. It can be done in a group setting at a yoga studio, or in the comfort of your own home.
Now, you’re probably wondering what yoga has to do with dogs. Well, dogs make fantastic companions while you’re practicing on your mat.
Dogs are pack animals. In order to fit in with the rest of the pack, each dog observes and copies what the pack leader is doing. Your dog sees you as the pack leader, so he is going to observe what you’re doing, and then do it too.
It is so popular, that in 2001, Suzi Teitelman coined the term Doga, and created a practice that includes your dog. And it’s got a lot of health benefits for both of you including:
- Increased circulation. Yoga will help get the blood circulating in your body and your dog’s.
- Stress relief. Yoga is meant to be a calming exercise routine with meditation built into it.
- Help ease feelings of anxiety. If you or your dog is feeling anxious, yoga can help ease that. You’ll be focusing on your breath and learning how to meditate and quiet your mind.
- Help with impulse control. Practicing yoga every day with your dog will teach them how to be still and calm
- Get exercise. Yoga is great for helping you and your dog lose weight and gain muscle. It also helps you both gain more flexibility as you keep practicing.
- Heal an injury. Practicing yoga will stretch out muscles, so if your dog is injured, this can help ease some of the pain, and get blood flowing to the injury for a quicker recovery.
It may be harder to find a yoga studio that has doga classes in smaller towns, but you can always ask your instructor if he or she could look into it and consider offering a class in a future date. Or you can practice at home. There are several different YouTube videosyou can look up, or you can get a few books.
There are a few options for how to go about your yoga routine with your dog.
The first option is, you can help your dog do the poses. You can move your dog’s body in a way that will stretch out their muscles. The second option is, you can do the poses yourself while your dog is nearby. Allow your dog to observe what you’re doing and allow them to mimic you on their own.
Do whichever option works best for you both, and don’t force something if it’s not working the way you want it to. Keep showing up every day and work into your practice.
Yoga can be a fun way to bond with your dog, get some exercise, and clear your head after a busy day. It will also help your dog limber up before going out to run, or to help alleviate sore, stiff muscles and bones.