Doga: What Is Dog Yoga? Can Your Dog Do It?

Fitness

(Image Credit: Getty Images/APF/Staff)

Yoga is a timeless practice that originated in India. Its exact era of origin is so steeped in history that it’s hard to pinpoint, but the practice has been considered sacred by yogis everywhere since time immemorial. However, some forms of yoga, like doga, are a little bit newer.

Yoga’s growing popularity has led to some rather interesting trends and variations in the practice. Goat yoga is one of these recent evolutions. Another is drunk yoga. We here at DogTime cannot attest to the mental and physical effectiveness of these methods—especially the latter. Although, they certainly seem to provide their own level of entertainment and challenges.

One of the more popular and, probably, more accessible iterations of this new wave of yoga is dog yoga, or doga. This is the practice of yoga in the presence of dogs. Sometimes they may be the practitioners own dogs. In other instances, they may be dogs brought in that are available for adoption.

How Does Doga Work?

While experiences and practices may vary, doga is ultimately a form of yoga in which the practitioner, or yogi, does most of the work. The participating pup is usually only a presence. Sometimes they may act as a weight, a block, or a prop. Your dog isn’t actually doing yoga with you. Although, if your dog is capable of mimicking some of the poses with you, that could make for a fun yoga experience!

The comradery of doga might take time to develop. Mahny Djahanguiri, author of “DOGA: Yoga For You and Your Dog” says that it could take three to six months for your dog to get used to the idea of participating in yoga with you. They might also never really adjust–or want to participate at all. Be sure you don’t force your pup into doing something they’re not comfortable with!

Is Doga For You And Your Dog?

(Image Credit: Getty Images/stevecoleimages)

Naturally, the most important aspect of doga is the mindful time spent with you and your dog. The idea is that your mindfulness and calmness will affect your dog the same way it does you, giving you both a semblance of calm and relaxation as you practice.

Yoga means “union.” As dog lovers, we think few things are more important than time spent uniting and better understanding your dog. Doga might not be for you. However, the exercise and calmness that the practice offers might be worth looking into, anyway.

Have you tried Doga? Let us know in the comments below!

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