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El yoga con perros combina las posturas tradicionales del yoga con actividades que involucran a los perros

Doga: discover yoga with dogs

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Yoga with dogs, known as doga, has gained popularity in recent years as an innovative and enriching way to improve owners’ and pets’ well-being. The practice combines traditional yoga postures and techniques with activities involving dogs, creating a unique experience of relaxation and connection.  Doga offers a way to stay fit and flexible and strengthens the emotional bond with our canine companions.

  What is doga or yoga with dogs?

Doga, also known as yoga with dogs, is a practice that combines traditional yoga postures with the active participation of our canine friends. This innovative approach seeks to improve owners’ and dogs’ physical and emotional well-being, creating a shared experience of relaxation and exercise. 

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Origins and evolution

Doga was born at the beginning of the 21st century in the United States, thanks to the initiative of Suzi Teitelman, a yoga instructor who began experimenting with her dog during her daily routines.

Teitelman found that her dog enjoyed the activity, and both benefited from practising together, which led her to develop and popularise this new form of yoga. What started as a home activity quickly spread nationwide, thanks to social media and word of mouth.

The practice of doga has been gaining acceptance in different cultures and countries, including Spain, where more and more people are joining the trend.

Basic principles of Doga

Doga is based on integrating dogs into traditional yoga practices, adapting the postures to include pets and ensuring that both participants enjoy and benefit from the session.

During a doga class, it is essential to remain calm and patient, as the quiet and relaxed energy of the owners positively influences the dogs’ behaviour. In addition, doga incorporates breathing and meditation techniques that help reduce stress and promote general well-being.

The main focus of doga is holistic wellness, improving both the physical and emotional health of owners and their dogs. Through this practice, participants improve their flexibility, reduce stress, and strengthen their bond with their pets, creating a deeper and more meaningful connection.

 Benefits of yoga with dogs

Yoga with dogs is a fun and novel practice that offers multiple benefits for owners and their pets. These benefits encompass physical, emotional, and social aspects, improving the quality of life for both participants. Let’s look at how doga can positively impact flexibility, reduce stress, and strengthen your bond with your dog.

Improved flexibility

Doga includes a series of adapted yoga postures that help improve the flexibility of both participants. Owners do stretch exercises that increase joint and muscle mobility, while dogs participate in postures promoting flexibility and physical health. For example, the “downward facing dog” pose is perfectly adapted to the dogs’ natural movements, helping them to stretch and keep their muscles toned.

In addition, doga can be particularly beneficial for older dogs or dogs with joint problems, as the gentle, controlled movements help to maintain mobility and reduce stiffness.

 Similarly, owners can experience greater freedom of movement and an overall improved range of motion, which can contribute to better physical health and injury prevention.

Stress reduction

One of the most significant benefits of yoga with dogs is the reduction of stress in both humans and animals. The breathing and meditation techniques used in doga promote relaxation and well-being, helping to calm the mind and reduce anxiety levels.

For dogs, the closeness with their owners and the calm atmosphere of a dog session can have a calming effect, reducing anxious behaviour and promoting a sense of security.

 Strengthening the link

Doga offers a unique opportunity to strengthen the bond between owners and dogs. Through shared activities, owners learn to communicate better with their pets and understand their needs and behaviours.

Postures and exercises involving physical contact and direct interaction help build trust and mutual respect. Dogs feel more connected and secure with their owners, which can translate into better obedience and behaviour in daily life. In addition, owners experience greater satisfaction and happiness as they watch their pets enjoy and benefit from the joint practice.

Yoga with dogs improves the physical and emotional well-being of owners and dogs.

 What yoga classes with dogs are like

Dog yoga classes are designed to be accessible and beneficial for owners and their pets.

Duration and format

Doga classes usually last approximately one hour, providing the necessary time for participants to relax, exercise and enjoy the company of their dogs. Sessions generally follow a clear structure that includes:

  • Warm-up. At the beginning of the class, warm-up exercises are done for owners and dogs. These exercises help prepare the body for the yoga postures and ensure both participants are relaxed and ready for the practice.

  • Main exercises. This is the central part of the class, where various yoga postures adapted to include dogs are practised. During this phase, stretching and meditation are combined, ensuring owners and dogs benefit from the exercise.

  • Final relaxation. At the end of the class, time is dedicated to relaxation and meditation, allowing participants to end the session with calm and well-being.

The classroom environment is calm and welcoming, with comfortable spaces for the dogs and an atmosphere encouraging concentration and relaxation.

Traditional yoga exercises

In a doga class, several traditional yoga postures are adapted to safely and effectively include dogs. Examples of these postures include:

  • Downward-facing dog. This pose is perfect for dogs, as it mimics a natural stretch that they perform. Owners can perform the traditional posture while the dogs stretch beside them.

  • Child’s Pose. During this posture, owners sit on their heels and lean forward. Dogs can lie beside them or climb on their backs for a light massage.

  • Savasana. This final relaxation posture lets owners lie on their backs while their dogs rest, promoting peace and connection.

Interactive activities with dogs

In addition to yoga postures, doga classes include a few interactive activities designed to encourage the socialisation and well-being of the dogs. These activities may include:

  • Massage and stretching for dogs. Owners learn specific massage and stretching techniques for their dogs, helping them to relax muscles and improve their flexibility.

  • Obedience games and exercises. Games and exercises are incorporated that are not only fun but also help to improve the dogs’ obedience and concentration. These may include reward exercises, fetch games and activities that mentally stimulate the dogs.

  • Socialisation. Doga classes are also an excellent opportunity for dogs to socialise with other dogs and people, which benefits their emotional and behavioural development.
One of the benefits of yoga with dogs is the reduction of stress in humans and animals.

Accessibility and requirements

Doga is an inclusive and accessible practice for people of all ages and levels of yoga experience. Beginners and experts alike can benefit from the classes, as the exercises and postures are easily adapted to suit various abilities and needs. New participants receive specific and detailed instructions, ensuring they understand how to integrate their dogs into the yoga postures safely and effectively. 

For those with more yoga experience, doga offers a new dimension to their practice. It allows you to explore more advanced postures while incorporating interaction with your dogs. Adaptations are available to ensure that both owners and dogs benefit fully from the session, regardless of their ability level.

It is generally recommended that children over six years of age participate. Adult supervision is essential to ensure that children follow instructions properly and handle their dogs safely. Practicing doga can help children develop motor skills, relaxation techniques, and a strong bond with their pets, making it an enriching experience for the whole family.

 Yoga with dogs is a way to improve your health and your pet’s health.

Yoga with dogs, or doga, is not only a growing trend but also an opportunity to improve the well-being of both owner and pet. This practice is not limited to an exercise routine but becomes a space for connection and mutual understanding.

By integrating your dog into your yoga sessions, you will improve your flexibility and reduce stress, as well as strengthen your emotional bond with your pet. Interactive activities and shared poses foster trust and communication, creating a harmonious and relaxing environment.

Do you want to give it a try?

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