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Benefits of Doga: 5 Reasons to Take up Yoga with Your Pet

by Rachel Burns

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Did you know you there's an emerging brand of pet yoga, specifically for dogs, called doga?

For most of us, our dogs are nothing but annoying and disruptive during yoga sessions but to some pet owners, nothing could be further from the truth. And for a fact, doga is highly beneficial to not only dogs but their owners as well.

But before we get to these benefits, let's clear up what doga is!

What is Doga (Dog Yoga)?

dog with yoga mat rolled up

Doga is basically yoga with some modifications to allow dogs to participate. While ordinary yoga emphasizes relating to your surroundings, doga further extends that to bringing together dogs and yoga in a fun yet rewarding way.

Naturally, dogs can stretch as well as humans can, which is a significant part of yoga but don't expect to see your canine striking a Shavasana. Additionally, doggie brains, despite being quite advanced, are not evolved enough to meditate and perform breathing exercises but that is not a problem.

The Main Benefits of Doga

man doing yoga with his dog at home

Photo credit: Irish Examiner

Having your dog as a partial participant in your yoga sessions has been proven to be highly beneficial to both your and its health in the following ways.

1. Physical Benefits

Doga may not be as intensive as jogging or weightlifting, but it's still a hugely useful form of physical exercise. While there is no scientific evidence to suggest to what extent yoga for dogs is beneficial to its physical health, we all know enough about the benefits of physical exercises to fill in the dots.

For one, doga can help get your canine in better shape, particularly if it’s overweight, while also building up some muscle. Secondly, doga helps in enhancing blood circulation which can be especially helpful to injured animals. Lastly, dogs are naturally inclined to stretch and doing so in a regular, synchronized way, can improve their flexibility and range of motion.

2. Yoga With Dog Helps in Relaxation

woman doing yoga with her dog in a gym

Photo credit: Toronto Star

Yoga mostly involves a bunch of exercises geared towards improving relaxation and regulation of breathing and doga is no different. If your dog is hyperactive, engaging it in some of your calming activities will significantly calm it down while burning some of its energy. As a matter of fact, doga has the same effects on a dog's mental state as yoga has on humans.

3. A Great Way to Bond with Your Dog

dog in pink clothing exercising

While yoga is known as a way of bonding with your inner self and your surroundings, yoga with dogs further adds to and strengthens the bond between dog and owner. For example, your dog will learn to trust you more from repeatedly helping it out during assisted stretching exercises and poses. The more this bond grows, the easier it will be to train your dog and correct its behavior.

4. Social Benefits

woman practicing yoga with her white dog

Photo credit: Rediff

There is always some form of yoga to do at home, but it's not as much fun as doing it in your local gym, with other pet owners and their pets. Organizing doga sessions at your gym or with some friends will do wonders for both you and your dog's social lives as you get to meet and socialize with other people and dogs on the regular.

Also, getting your dog accustomed to being around strangers and other dogs is a great way to make him less feisty when he sees new people. He will hence become easier to handle even during walks.

5. Entertainment Value

woman doing yoga with puppies

Photo credit: Philly Mag

Encouraging a dog to do yoga with its owner is a highly enjoyable experience for both parties. See, your canine may be a distraction when you’re doing your solo sessions, but that's only because he feels left out. Make him a part of your exercises, and you will see a more adventurous, fun side of him.

It's even better when you do your doga with another family member, whether spouse or child and you both spend time playing with, and massaging the dog in between exercises. And the good thing is, there are no rules on when to do yoga with your dog and you can strike some poses when there's nothing good on TV.

That doga is beneficial to both humans and dogs is not up for debate. Nonetheless, we have touched on the expected benefits of the practice, and we hope that if nothing else, you at least give it a try. Of course, there are no standard rules to it, and you can check online for tips on how to do yoga with your dog. Even better if you get videos animals doing yoga poses!

Admittedly, doing yoga with your dog can be quite hectic and distracting, more so if you're a serious yogi. Also, not all dogs are suited to perform the different exercises involved in doga. Puppies, in particular, are too hyperactive and fussy and will probably not focus for long.

You might also find it difficult to get your dog to adapt to the feel and strangeness of yoga classes and being around strangers. That is, however, nothing that can't be solved with patient and persistent training. 

Would you like to discover the joy of practicing yoga alongside dogs? This amazing nature and yoga holiday in Brazil features the constant presence of healing dogs! For dog lovers, it’s the ideal vacation. 

You can connect with Rachel if you’d like to keep up with her work.

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