Most people have heard of mothers practicing yoga with their babies. But, how about yoga that incorporates a practitioner’s four-legged friend? Doga’practicing yoga with your dog’is a way for dog owners to spend quality time with their pup.
In an article for The New York Times, Mahny Djahanguiri, author of Doga: Yoga for You and Your Dog, says that doga isn’t about forcing your dog into warrior poses or a tree pose, but rather, you simply begin your practice as you normally would, and as the dog becomes more curious, encourage him to participate.
Doga seeks to combine massage and meditation with gentle stretching for dogs and their human partners. For example, in chaturanga (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), a dog sits with his front paws in the air while their human partner provides support. In sun salutation, an owner would lift the dog onto his hind legs.
Yoga teacher Rachel Brathen, who has taught doga, says in an article for Modern Dog magazine that the start of the class may appear chaotic, but as the class goes on, and the owners start centring themselves during the practice, the dogs begin to calm down as well.
Doga may sound like a fleeting trend, but for those who practice it, the enjoyment seems to come from bonding with their dog in a new and different way. So, we say, namaste’to you and your dog.