Are you a yoga enthusiast looking to spice up your practice? Look no further, because “Doga” is here! Doga, short for “Yoga With Your Dog,” is the latest trend in the yoga world. This unique practice involves incorporating your furry friend into your yoga routine, whether they actively participate in poses or simply keep you company. From relaxing your pet and yourself to building a deeper bond and promoting mental stimulation, there are numerous benefits to practicing Doga. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, Doga can add a new and exciting element to your yoga practice. So grab your mat and your dog, and let’s dive into the world of Doga!
What is Yoga
Yoga is a spiritual discipline that focuses on finding harmony between the body and mind. It originated in Northern India nearly 5,000 years ago and has since evolved and spread around the world. Yoga involves balancing the flow of energy within the body and mind through breathing, meditation, and movement. It can be practiced by people of all ages and skill levels, and its benefits are wide-ranging. Whether practiced alone or in a group, indoors or outdoors, yoga is a versatile activity that can be tailored to individual preferences.
What is Dog Yoga
Dog Yoga, also known as Doga, is the practice of doing yoga with your dog. It involves incorporating your furry companion into your yoga routine, whether by actively engaging them in yoga poses or simply having them nearby as you practice. Doga can be a bonding experience between you and your dog, and it can also be practiced in a group setting where pet owners and their dogs come together to share the experience. Doga can be customized to suit your dog’s characteristics and personality, and it’s important to let your dog be themselves during the practice.
The Chakras: The Main Energy Centers
In the practice of yoga, the main energy centers in the body are known as chakras. These energy centers are believed to extend from the base of the spine to the top of the head and are associated with different body parts. While traditionally given a spiritual meaning, many scientists argue that these chakras correspond to actual spine bundles found in the nervous system. The seven main chakras are the Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra, and Crown Chakra.
The Yogi Pooch: The Nine Chakra Centers Present in Dogs
While there is no empirical evidence confirming that animals have chakras, many practitioners and communicators believe it’s likely that dogs have energy centers like humans. Dogs may share the same seven chakras as humans, in addition to unique chakras specific to their species. These additional chakras are believed to include the ear, nose, paw, and tail chakras. While there is no consensus on the exact locations of these chakras, they are thought to play a role in the energetic balance of dogs.
The Benefits of Doga
Doga practice offers numerous health benefits for both pets and their humans. It can help relax both the pet and their owner, as the deep breathing and meditation involved in Doga promote a state of relaxation. Doga also provides mental stimulation for dogs, helping to maintain their cognition as they age and making them more receptive to learning. It can also improve pet behavior, as the shared activity allows dogs to feel important and loved. Furthermore, Doga helps deepen the bond between pet owners and their dogs, promoting overall mental health and well-being.
Health Benefits for Pooch and Their Human
The practice of Doga offers several health benefits for both dogs and their human companions. It helps relax pets and their owners, as the deep breathing and meditation involved create a sense of calmness. Doga also provides mental stimulation for dogs, which is beneficial for their cognitive development and can help maintain their sharpness as they age. Additionally, Doga can have a positive impact on a dog’s behavior, as they feel valued and loved during the shared activity. The practice of Doga also promotes bonding between pet owners and their dogs, resulting in improved mental health and overall well-being for both.
How to Practice Doga
There are two main ways to practice Doga: coaching your dog into Doga positions or allowing them to be near while you do your yoga routine. Both approaches offer the same benefits and can be tailored to suit your and your dog’s preferences. To get your dog started with Doga, you can give them a demonstration of some animal-inspired positions that they may already understand, such as the downward-facing dog or the puppy pose. For smaller dogs or puppies, you can incorporate them into the practice as a weight lift, providing training for your muscles while bonding with your dog. It’s also a good idea to practice Doga at home before attending a Doga class and to let your dog go at their own pace and engage with the activity as much as they want.
Doga Poses to Try at Home
If you’re ready to embark on your Doga journey with your furry companion, here are six easy-to-do Doga poses to try at home:
Heart to Hound Mudra: Sit cross-legged in front or behind your dog and place one hand over your heart and the other over your dog’s heart. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and feel the transfer of positive energy between you and your pooch.
Charanga: Begin with a high plank position and hug your elbows to the side of your body. Shift forward on your toes and slowly lower your body to the mat, keeping your shoulders in line with your elbows. This pose can be done while your dog lays flat on the floor, and you can pet their back while transitioning into Upward Facing Dog.
Upward Facing Dog: Start face-down on the floor with your feet extended behind you and tops of the feet facing the mat. Place your palms next to your hips and push your upper body off the mat, stretching your back with your arms straightened. Your dog can join in by stretching and following their own version of Upward Facing Dog.
Puppy Paw Mudra: This pose involves sitting cross-legged in front of your dog and gently touching their paws with your hands. Take deep breaths and feel the connection between you and your pup.
Yogi Squat: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Squat down, bringing your hips close to the ground. Place your hands in prayer position in front of your chest or bring them to your heart. Your dog can sit or lie down next to you during this pose.
Savasana with Your Dog: Lie flat on your back with your legs extended and arms relaxed by your sides. Have your dog lie down next to you or on your chest, and take deep breaths together as you relax and release tension.
Remember to always listen to your body and your dog’s cues during Doga practice. The goal is to create a peaceful and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry companion.