Yoga with your dog, not for your dog!
DOGA, the term coined to performing yoga practices with your furry friend has become increasingly popular as niche markets in the yoga industry have greatly expanded—you can do yoga with just about anything these days! You can do yoga with beer, wine, goats, and even yoga with your dog!
Lately, there has been some anxiety and ambiguity when it comes to practicing with your dogs, most commonly being: “I can’t even get my dog to sit let alone Downward Dog!?” Or another big one: “OFF LEASH!?” The answer is simply, no we are not teaching your dogs how to do Yoga, but rather how to do Yoga with your dog.
The Intention of Yoga with Your Pup
Traditionally, any yoga practice or class begins with setting an Intention for that time, day, class, etc. Similar to a yoga practice, dog ownership is a commitment that also deserves Intentions; whether it be daily, monthly or yearly—every good thing in Life stems from a genuine Intention.
Now you may think, “well dogs can’t literally set an Intention.” Although they may not be able to verbally communicate this to you, their actions speak louder than their barks so to speak. Dogs by nature are excellent ‘vibe feelers,’ and for the most part their anxieties and reactions are developed from the vibrations the owners give off on a daily basis—whether you realize this or not, your dog absolutely senses what you are vibrating at any given time (positive or negative!).
By setting a positive Intention with your canine, your yoga practice has already set off to the right paw. Intentions for these furry practices can range from:
- Letting go. Let go of all meticulous control of the animal and letting it just Be a dog
- Acceptance. Accept where your relationship is now with your dog and openness to the direction it is going
- Peace. Peace with who your dog is and peace with yourself as its caretaker
Intentions for practicing with your pets are endless, and perhaps starting out small like completing an entire class without correcting your dog’s natural behavior is just enough.
The Ups to the Downdogs
As an owner, practicing yoga with your dog may just be the best part about your day and there surely are more benefits to a playful practice:
- You don’t have to feel guilty about leaving your fur friend at home
- You can begin to build a more organic relationship with your pup; both stretching and rolling around on the floor, basically getting down to their level
- You may even gain a new respect from your dog as your own energies and vibrations begin to stabilize, thus allowing you to be more present in your dog-parenting
From a Dogic point of view, this an exciting new activity they get to share with their most beloved human being, another excuse to play and love. So the next time you hesitate about practicing with your puppy or bringing them to a Doga class, check your ego, ask yourself where is the anxiety present, and how could an Intention alleviate that second-guessing so that both you, and your furry best friend, can receive the good vibrations of Yoga.
Dannika & Ole Miss