Oftentimes for us dog owners, exercising in the apartment can be made nearly impossible by the constant interruptions from our curious critters. They just don’t understand that we can’t pet them while we’re doing sit-ups! We thought there was never going to be a way to harmoniously exercise with our furry friends … until now.
There is a growing trend in the yoga community that allows both you and your dog to find inner peace and relaxation. Dog yoga, or Doga for short, involves all of the aspects of traditional yoga while also including your pet in a variety of interesting and fun ways.
The slow movements of yoga help your dog to stay calm while the contact you make with them while balancing allows them to feel appreciated and cared for. In fact, some instructors believe that going through these motions with your adoring animal develops a stronger bond between human and pet.
Doga is open to dogs of all sizes, but it’s up to you to decide how you will incorporate them in the stretches, poses and chanting. Different poses and stretches call for your dog to play different roles.
Here are a few of our favorites to help get you started:
This forward bend has you sitting on the floor and bending at the hip. You will reach for your toes or feet while trying to lengthen the muscles in your lower back as well as your hamstrings. You can keep your furry friend in between your legs as a focal point and try to reach them as a goal. Ultimately you’ll want to be able to comfortably rest your head on his or her back.
The basic forward lunge strengthens your quadriceps, hamstrings and lower back muscles while opening up your hip flexors. If your dog is small, or medium if you’re up to the challenge, you can use your dog as an extra weight while you raise your hands above your head.
Flying Dog Pose
This pose isn’t in the traditional yoga handbook, but it’s fun all the same. Sit down with your legs stretched out in front of you. Have your pet rest on your thighs. Raise your arms in front of you to shoulder height. Slowly lower your back to the ground. As you lower your upper body, begin to raise your feet off the ground, keeping your legs straight. Your dog will add resistance to help make you stronger and he or she will enjoy some flight at the same time!