Have You Heard of Doing Yoga with Dogs?

April 1, 2019
Have you tried "doga" yet? It's yoga with dogs and great fun for the two of you!

In a previous article we talked about Pancino, a nice little doggie known for doing yoga with his owner, which many of you read. But this isn’t anything new, since for many years people have been doing “doga”, or yoga with dogs. 

These are similar exercises to those we normally do in yoga. Both include breathing techniques and postures. However, they’re a little simpler so that dogs are able to keep up the pace.

Doing yoga with dogs also has numerous benefits for pets. It helps them relax and the discipline of exercising makes them more obedient and mentally agile. It also improves their flexibility as well.

As an added benefit, “doga” will be a unique opportunity for people who don’t want to leave their dogs at home and it’s an opportunity to spend more time with them.

This is person doing yoga with dogs.

We can’t expect our dog to start doing yoga the same way that we do. He’ll need a different kind of understanding and language. Besides, it’s vital to practice yoga when your pet is very relaxed.

If we take him for a walk before the session where he can run and use up energy, he’ll probably be calm for the sessions.

Yoga with dogs: how to begin

To begin, the first sessions shouldn’t be energized with exercises. Instead, they should focus on getting the dog to understand what we want him to do. One or two poses will be enough to begin.

This will make the dog feel comfortable and also create trust towards us and the situation in general. Making our pet feel this way will encourage him to come to other sessions with us.

Not all poses work for all dogs. We need to understand that practicing yoga with a small dog isn’t the same as practicing yoga with a large dog. For example, a dog like Pancino, a chihuahua, could be on top of us. Obviously, we couldn’t do this with a large dog.

Breathing techniques for yoga with dogs

Even though you’re the owner of your mat, you should share it with him. Being by your side will make him feel comfortable and secure.

We’ll feel each other’s breathing while we’re sitting close to each other on the mat. We can then put our hands firmly on his back to relax him. We won’t have to do this for very long; a few minutes will be enough to begin.

Poses for dogs, with massages too!

This is a little brown dog on a yoga mat

 

It’ll take a lot of patience, perseverance and love to get your dog used to yoga. He probably won’t be doing the poses at first. However, you should continue trying.

If we try to surround our pet with our legs, he may want to escape. We should do this is a very gradual and gentle way so that it doesn’t annoy him when feeling your legs, which could make him nervous.

It’s best if he feels you and you begin to surround him very lightly with your legs, while you massage his head or his ears, according to how your dog likes it.

When he feels comfortable with that pose, we’ll be able to stretch ourselves over him. Of course, we’ll be doing this in a very soft and gentle way without putting our weight on him. We’ll do this while stretching his paws in front, which will help him relax and stretch his muscles.

Some tips for doing yoga with your dog

As you can see, it’s not that difficult, just follow this advice:

  • Don’t overload him with exercises during the first sessions. In fact, one or two poses will be enough.
  • “Doga” should be a pleasant experience for your pet, a place to relax.
  • Be aware that you can’t do all of the poses you know with your dog.
  • The goal is for your dog to feel comfortable with you. Gentleness, patience, love and perseverance will accomplish this.

So, try “doga” and see what you think!