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Paws and reflect: The benefits of dog yoga

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The benefits of dog yoga (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Learn about the benefits of dog yoga.
  • It’s a perfect way to bond with your pup.
  • Sit, stay, namaste!

You love yoga, and you love your dog.

So why not combine these two passions into a practice that benefits both you and your furry friend?

Welcome to the world of dog yoga, or «doga,» a unique blend of yoga and bonding with your pet.

This exciting approach offers an array of physical and emotional benefits that you might not have considered.

What is dog yoga?

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Photo: Shutterstock

Dog yoga, often called «doga,» is an activity that combines traditional yoga poses with dogs.

The goal is to provide both the human and the dog with physical exercise, mental calmness and a strengthened relationship.

Unlike regular yoga, doga involves your dog either through interaction or by encouraging your dog to try simple poses.

It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Physical benefits for dogs

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Photo: Shutterstock

Regular exercise is as essential for dogs as it is for humans.

Doga provides a form of physical activity that can help manage your dog’s weight and improve its cardiovascular health.

Basic poses and stretches can also enhance your dog’s flexibility, which can be especially beneficial for older dogs experiencing stiffness.

Not to mention, the gentle movements can aid in digestion, making for a happier, healthier pup.

How dog yoga benefits you

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The human half of the equation also experiences numerous physical perks.

Just like any yoga session, doga helps improve your flexibility, strength, and posture.

Performing yoga poses with your dog can add resistance, thereby enhancing the effects of your workout.

Moreover, the act of coordinating your movements with your dog’s can improve your balance and stability.

Mental benefits for dogs

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We all know dogs can get anxious, especially when faced with new or stressful situations.

The calming effect of doga can alleviate your pet’s stress and reduce its anxiety levels.

Breathing exercises and gentle stretches create a soothing environment that helps your dog feel secure.

Overall, a less anxious dog is generally a happier and healthier dog.

Mental benefits of dog yoga for you

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Yoga is renowned for its ability to relieve stress and improve mental clarity, and doga is no exception.

The practice encourages mindfulness as you focus on your breathing and your connection with your pet.

These moments of tranquility can significantly reduce your stress levels and enhance your overall mental health.

Furthermore, the simple joy of spending quality time with your dog can boost your mood.

Strengthening your bond

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One of the most compelling reasons to try doga is the strengthened bond it creates between you and your pet.

Doga provides a shared experience that fosters a deeper emotional connection.

The coordinated activities require you to pay close attention to each other, thus enhancing mutual trust and understanding.

So, the practice does not just benefit you physically and mentally, but emotionally as well.

Is doga for everyone?

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Before diving into doga, it’s crucial to consider your dog’s temperament and physical condition.

Doga is generally more suitable for dogs that are calm, social and receptive to being touched.

If your dog is hyperactive or aggressive, this might not be the best activity for you.

Consult your vet before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if your dog has health issues.

How to get started

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Photo: Shutterstock

If you’re eager to start practicing doga, there are several ways to go about it.

You can find online tutorials, buy doga DVDs, or even attend specialized classes in some cities.

It’s essential to start with simple poses and gradually work your way up as you and your dog become more comfortable.

Remember, the goal is to have fun and bond, so don’t force anything; let it come naturally.

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