We’ve all heard of yoga. It has been around for more than 5000 years. Some of us have even taken classes (okay, one class –I’m kind of flexibility-challenged). Many health experts believe that practicing yoga is a good way to stay healthy. The stretches and poses of yoga build a strong core, improve posture, lower blood pressure and even relieve stress. According to WebMD, yoga has been used to successfully alleviate the symptoms of asthma, back pain and insomnia among other common ailments. Sounds great, right? But before you decide yoga just can’t sound any better, consider doga.
Doga, or doggie-yoga, combines man’s best friend with every suburban woman’s favorite pastime (no, not shopping). Class participants use their dogs as props (think free weights) while performing yoga poses. They also assist their pooches in performing some stretches themselves.
Proponents of doga claim that doing yoga with your dog strengthens the bond they have with their pets. It’s somewhat easy to understand. All too often, we let our lives become so busy that we have to choose between exercise and quality time with our favorite canine. With doga, you get a workout and your dog gets all the attention he or she craves.
Yoga for dogs could even benefit your dog’s health. According to some alternative pet health practitioners, the massages and stretches that make up the typical doga class may improve your dog’s digestion, circulation and joint health.
Doga studios, or dog-friendly yoga studios that hold the occasional doga class, may be found throughout the U.S. including New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles. If you’re not quite ready to do doga in public, you can give it a try at home. Visit www.dogadog.com to order Suzi Teitleman’s Doga Dog DVD. It may be just what you and your pooch need to get you through the stressful holiday season.
How do you bond with your dog? Share with us in the comments!