While the best way to practice dog yoga, or, "Doga," is by attending a class, you can get a head start at home with these simple instructions.
You will need
- A yoga mat
- Knowledge of basic yoga poses
- A dog
Step 1 Understand Doga Understand that while Doga is a form of exercise, it is not a performance sport. It is less important to work up a sweat than to relax and appreciate the bonding time with your canine companion.
Step 2 Choose a routine Choose a simple yoga routine that includes stretches for you and for your pooch. If you don’t already have a routine, try these simple poses.
Step 3 Perform a Wide Angle Seated Bend Sit on your yoga mat and spread your legs into a wide V shape. Reach your hands toward your ankles and lean forward in a gentle stretch, called a Wide Angle Seated Bend. If your dog is close, rest your head on its body while you hold the pose.
Step 4 Massage and hold Massage your dog’s jaw and gum line as you hold your V pose. Cradle your puppy’s head with one hand, while making small, gentle circles along its muzzle with the other hand.
Remember that this is not about training or disciplining your puppy. If your dog is not interested in your exercise session, or in a particular pose, don’t force it.
Step 5 Do a Standing Side Bend Stand up, legs spread shoulder width apart, and hold your arms stretched out from your sides parallel to the ground. Bend to one side, stretching one hand toward the floor, the other toward the ceiling, in a Standing Side Bend. Rest your downward hand on your dog for balance.
Step 6 Stretch your puppy Place your hands under your puppy’s front armpits and raise it up onto its hind legs. Hold its front legs forward and parallel to the ground. Swivel your dog gently from side to side to help stretch its spine.
Step 7 Conclude Conclude your Doga session by sprawling on your yoga mat in a comfortable position, breathing deeply alongside your canine companion.
Did you know? You can read a dog’s mood by which direction its tail is wagging. Right equals happy. Left equals frightened.