Breathe in…breathe out…and a strong lick of the face? Let’s talk about creating an intense connection between you and your dog. One that goes beyond the ‘I woof you’; Doga. First of all, human yoga is a mind-body practice that includes meditation and breathing control. It can help with pain, flexibility, and balance. Yoga has also been known to enrich sleep and ease anxiety.
How Dog Yoga Can Strengthen A Bond
Doga, or dog yoga, is that same practice, but one that is meant to strengthen the bond between you and your dog while adding in an alternative exercise option. During the dog yoga session, owners work on breathing and specific yoga poses such as a downward dog. Your pup instinctively follows the same movements in their own way. For example, if you lay flat on the ground, your pup may roll over on his back. Some dogs, depending on temperament, will use this time to play during the session, take a nap, or may climb on their owners, depending on the pose.
Benefits Beyond A Bond
Some Doga sessions include holding your pup, adding in a little massage, or general stretching exercises. It is meant to be a stress-reducing time for not only you, but for your dog. This time together builds trust between owner and pup, helps lower blood pressure, and decreases depression in dogs. Doga is also a great time to form a bond if you are fostering a new pup.
It is a great exercise for overweight dogs since Doga is a gentle routine to follow. If your dog is overly anxious, studies have shown that stretching with you adds a calming presence. Dog yoga also offers your dog an opportunity to socialize with other dogs. It’s a play date...without the yoga pants.
What if my area does not offer Doga?
If your area does not offer Doga locally, you can still break up the monotony of your dog’s exercise routine and try these tips at home!
Set the Mood – work in a quiet area, just you and your best friend. Think about decreasing the stimulation and add soft, calming music. Yogiapproved.com listed 10 songs to start your yoga playlist. Click the link to check those out!
Do not forget Stretching – you will need to stretch the muscles to help support the yoga poses you are about to do…your dog should do the same. Picture your dog standing on all fours, delicately raise their right or left paw horizontally in front of them. Hold that pose for a few seconds to stretch out the muscle.
Begin your Yoga Poses- start with any pose you feel comfortable with, such as standing poses, mountain pose, or cat-cow pose. You will want a smooth transition from each pose, giving your dog an easier time to adjust to your moves.
Treats and Water – it may be a good idea to reward your pup with a treat after you complete a yoga pose. Until your routine becomes familiar, they may need that extra push to pose with you.
One pose to try right now with your dog is to lay on the floor, or mat, raise your legs, keeping them straight so that your body position is in the shape of an “L”. Place your pup on your stomach and start breathing techniques. It is fun and calming for you and your dog, and perhaps a short nap on your tummy. Remember to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Did you know our resort is offering a dog yoga class this Saturday? Paws & Poses will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 9am at our resort. Can’t make it this weekend? That’s ok! You can sign up for our interest list below to get notified of upcoming dog yoga classes!
All proceeds from Thousand Hills Pet Resort support New Life K9s. New Life K9s provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to them.