Have you ever heard of doga? Doga is a combination of the two words ‘dog’ and ‘yoga’. It is the practice of yoga with pet dogs. Honestly, the first time I heard of doga my automatic response was ludicrous! Probably, a practice focused on rich and famous people and their dogs in Hollywood. Though, you can not judge properly without gaining more knowledge on the subject.
Doga involves traditional poses, like the sun salutation – including downward facing dog – modified to allow the dog to perform them comfortably. Your yoga instructor will provide special techniques for helping your dog get into the poses. The aim is not necessarily to stretch your dog to the limits. Rather, through acts of meditation, gentle massage and stretching, doga practitioners seek to achieve a greater harmony with their dogs. So it are not the dogs who need to do yoga primarily, more the humans. The dogs need attention and bonding and that is healthy for humans as well. The dogs and their human partners work as one unit. The dogs can also be used as props to perfect the poses of their human partners.
Despite, the criticism doga has received from the yoga community, yoga with dogs classes are increasing in number and popularity. It is a truly yogic principle to live in harmony with all beings, including dogs. Though, you can discuss if a yoga class is an appropriate way to express this principle. Doga instructors are not required to complete a certificate, usually they learn informally by sharing techniques. For sure, doga can provide you with entertainment and fun for you and your dog. I am still not too enthusiastic about doga. Though, this has more to do with my lack of passion for dogs as pets, then with doga itself.