Yoga with Your Dog: Tips to Take
Your Practice to the Next Level
You’re already familiar with the common yoga poses known as downward-facing dog and puppy pose, but have you tried practicing yoga alongside your beloved furry companion? Also known as doga, practicing yoga with your dog is not only fun, adorable, and a pleasant change from your regular yoga routine — but it’s hugely beneficial to you and your pooch.
According to Daily Paws, doga strengthens the bond you share with your pup and reduces stress and anxiety in both humans and dogs. And if you take your pup to an in-person doga class at a local park or yoga studio, it can be a great way to meet new people and connect with other pup parents near you. Plus, spending time with your animal companion alleviates stress and makes you happier!
Now that you’re familiar with some of the health benefits of doga, it’s time to hit the mat with your furry companion by your side. Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about kicking your regular practice up a notch — and practicing yoga with your beloved canine companion.
To practice yoga at home with your pooch, you’ll first need to create a safe studio space in your bedroom or living room or head outside to practice in a fenced-in outdoor area. Remove anything that could be hazardous to your pup — like houseplants and potentially toxic yoga mats — and bring in some healthy dog treats so you can reward and coax your pooch as you practice together at home. If you like to diffuse essential oils during yoga, the team at Dogs Naturally shares some tips for safely using essential oils around your pup.
When you’ll be practicing yoga at home, it’s also important to eliminate anything that could be cluttering your house or building negative thoughts and emotions. Look for home cleansing ideas to bring positive energy into your living space and yoga practice — and keep everything clean, organized, and free of clutter.
Once you’re ready to practice with your pooch, you can find online doga classes — or you could transition between dog-friendly yoga poses like upward-facing dog, savasana, puppy pose, and downward-facing dog. You might even decide to use a yoga app such as Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, Daily Yoga, or Yoga Daily Fitness. These apps aren’t used specifically for practicing doga, but many poses can be modified to meet the needs of you and your furry companion.
If you’d prefer to attend an in-person class with your pooch, check with the yoga studios, community centers, and dog rescues near you to see if instructor-led doga classes are offered. Or, you could gather a group of friends and their dogs and practice doga together virtually or in a park. Before attending an in-person class with your pup, however, be sure to find out if:
Even with your hands-on guidance, it’s very unlikely that your pooch will be able to master every doga pose in one go. But this is where goal-setting and tracking come in. You can use a goal-setting app like Way of Life, Strides, or Repeat Habit Tracker to set weekly yoga goals and intentions for you and your pup.
If your pup doesn’t seem to be enjoying the experience, you can still practice yoga with him or her around! Simply allow him or her to roam freely while you practice, and you’ll continue to enjoy the benefits of practicing yoga with your dog.
Remember, yoga isn’t meant to be perfect — and this is especially true whenever dogs are involved. Embrace these imperfections and have fun with it! After all, that’s the main purpose of practicing yoga with your pooch.
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