Have you and your pup tried doga? Why is it the best fitness activity to keep you and your dog in shape? Mike Powell explores it and its benefits in this article!
Taking your dog for a walk is an excellent form of exercise for both of you. So is playing fetch, wrestling, and tug-of-war.
But what about when it’s rainy outside or you need something a little more relaxed? Doga—or dog yoga—is a great option.
So why is it the best fitness activity to keep you and your dog in shape? Here are my thoughts.
How does doga work?
You may be wondering how you can include your dog in yoga poses. For many of us, it is hard enough to hold our own body weight, never mind our dogs!
In most cases, your dog will not actually be involved in holding the pose.
Usually, doga just means doing yoga with your trusty fluff by your side, lending their calm, loving energy to the situation.
Certain poses can be adapted to include your pup. For example, the Puppy Paw Mudra has your dog lying flat on its stomach with you kneeling behind them.
Lay your head lightly on their back and place your hands on their paws.
You can do doga either way, but we suggest involving your dog where you can! Just take care not to place them in any positions that may hurt them.
The benefits of doga
Doga might sound a bit new-agey, but it has some specific benefits that both you and your pup will gain.
Doga is an excellent start to exercise for both humans and dogs who need to shed some pounds.
It is low-impact, does not require fancy equipment, and helps you to develop a strong mind-muscle connection.
Not only does regular doga help loosen up the muscles, but it can also improve circulation, build muscle, and lose fat.
Note that versions such as tabata yoga will help shed pounds a lot quicker than lower-intensity forms.
For both dogs and humans, doga can strengthen the joints and prevent arthritis and other joint problems later in life.
It is also an excellent option for people and pups who are recovering from injury, thanks to its low-impact nature.
Yoga—and doga—helps to stimulate the release of endorphins, which are happy hormones.
Not only will you benefit from reduced pain thanks to looser muscles and stronger joints, but the release of these hormones also helps relieve anxiety and depression.
When partaking in regular doga sessions, both you and your pup can expect improved sleep, better digestion, better concentration, and in general, a better mood.
Dogs love to bond with their humans, and doga is a super way to do that. If you are including your dog in the poses, there will be a lot of opportunity for bonding through touch.
Your pup will love being part of your daily activity. It’s also an opportunity to learn to trust each other even more than you do already.
You will need to put your pup in a few unusual positions, and you will also need to trust that they will not nip you if they get bored or annoyed!
If you do doga from home, just you and your fluff, then this will not apply.
But if you go to a class, it will be an excellent opportunity for your dog to learn how to spend time with other dogs.
The atmosphere is much more relaxed than that of a dog park or doggy daycare, which makes it ideal for socialising nervous dogs.
If you are already into yoga, doga is a natural next step to include your furry friend. If you have never tried it before, you should!
It is easy on the body, calms the mind, and builds your relationship with your dog.
Even if it is not high-intensity, we believe it is the best fitness activity to keep you and your dog in shape together, both physically and mentally!
About the author
Mike Powell has owned and loved dogs since he was a child. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with other pup parents, and you can find his advice on dog nutrition, exercise, and accessories at Dog Embassy.
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Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels