Doga: Why Is It The Best Fitness Activity To Keep You And Your Dog In Shape?

Stretching out in downward dog pose is best paired with a pup by your side to help with moral support

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It is no secret that we can enjoy a multitude of activities with our four-legged best friends, from running errands to taking a quick jog outside, hiking, or simply lounging lazily at home. Indeed, a dog’s companionship can quickly goose up any activity at any day.

Having a pooch as your ride or die also gives you a valid reason to work out and get back in shape! Your workout routines do not have to be extensive—a 10-minute brisk walk or a jog along the park rail is already beneficial for you and your dog!

However, if you opt for an indoor activity, you can spread your yoga mat on the floor and do some stretches with your dog! Nowadays, many fur parents realize the benefits of Doga, a portmanteau of “dog” and “yoga,” the two most beautiful things on Earth. Doga is all-inclusive—you and your dog don’t need to be of a certain weight and shape to practice this relaxing exercise at home!

That is just one of the many benefits of Doga! In this article, we will dive into the concept of Dogs and its benefits for dogs and fur parents like you. Make sure to scroll further!

What is Doga?

Developed by Suzi Teitelman in 2001, Doga is a way for fur parents and dogs to stay in shape while spending quality time together. The concept is rooted in the resemblance between yoga poses and the way your dog stretches. When you think about it, your dog’s morning stretch looks a lot like the “downward-facing dog” yoga pose, and the popular “cobra” posture resembles a dog’s after-playtime stretch!

As Doga teacher Madhavi Bhatia said, “Like yoga, Doga balances, harmonizes, purifies, and transcends the body and mind of the practitioner. What makes Doga unique is the practice and benefits that create harmony and synchronization of energy flow between the owner and dog.”

How to get started with Doga:

Now, how does it work? We know that having your dog participate in Doga is no easy feat. After all, dogs can be squeamish during the Doga session. Therefore, it is essential to know that Doga should not be forced on your dog. Pet parents need to be mindful and try to analyze their pooches’ body language. If you notice your dog squirming, pulling away, and whining, stop and try again the next day.

Practicing Doga in the comfort of your own home is the easiest and most practical way to practice Doga. Here are some tips to help you invite your dog into the Doga session:

  • Let your dog be curious
  • Practice stretching beside a large dog
  • Rest together naturally during more relaxed poses
  • Lift up smaller dogs during laid-back poses

If your dog refuses to cooperate, don’t sweat about it! In the traditional yoga practice, as long as you execute yoga poses with an open, relaxed mind, you and your dog will still reap health benefits. Perhaps you won’t be able to tone and stretch your body that much, but the whole session will allow you to strengthen your bond with your best friend!

If you happen to live in a town that offers Doga classes, call the facilitator and ask the following questions:

  • How many people are participating in a single class?
  • Are there any restrictions on dog behaviors?
  • Do they have breed and size limitations?

Having an expert facilitate you and your dog’s Doga sessions is the easiest way to perfect your stretches together.

Why Doga is the best fitness activity:

Practicing Doga is just like doing yoga, but multiplying the benefits and fun. Here are some of the many benefits of Doga:

Bonding time

Doing it with your dog offers a different kind of experience—a fun, fulfilling one that allows you to connect with him, especially when you do poses together in which you and your pooch work together as partners. You can help your dog foster his trust in you, strengthening the relationship in the long run. When you improve your relationship with your pooch, you also enhance his behavior towards you and the environment.

Helps overcome fear

Inexplicably, Doga poses help alleviate specific dog traumas. For instance, helping your dog touch his toes and paws allows him to overcome his fear of nail clipping slowly. On the other hand, if your pooch has an impatient and pushy temperament, helping him tolerate long stretches will lead to a more patient and obedient disposition.

Provides health benefits

Even though scientific research about the benefits of Doga remains scarce, it still stands as a valid form of exercise for humans and pups to enjoy together.

For instance, if your pooch is overweight, Doga can be a great way to get much-needed exercise. When Doga is practiced regularly, it can help your pooch lose excess fat and build muscles. It can also help prevent common dog illnesses such as ACL injuries, especially for older dogs.

Depending on the type of injury, injured dogs can benefit from Doga. Through gentle stretching, pooches can lessen pain and speed up recovery since stretching helps relieve muscle tension.

Boosts relaxation

Doga provided you and your dog the luxury to relax, unwind, and get off your mind from your daily worries. Relaxation and breathing exercises are the fundamentals of Doga. It can amazingly calm down playful, active dogs. The exercise part of a Doga session allows you and your dog to burn some energy, all the while making your mental states calmer.

Relaxation is the prime reason why you need it, especially after a stressful week at work. Instead of lounging in your sweatpants, binge-watching your favorite TV series, spend your free time in a more productive, healthy way. You don’t have to put on your shoes to go for a run to get exercise because Doga already allows you to stay active in the comfort of your home. For anxious, yappy dogs, Doga can also be an excellent way for your dog to relax and simply enjoy your company.

Indeed, practicing Doga provides various benefits, but you should not expect visible results right away! It takes commitment and passion to achieve your goals, so try your best to include this exercise in you and your dog’s daily routine!

Author bio

Mike Powell loves dogs and writing about them. He writes about his undying love for canines on Dog Embassy, a website that aims to provide information about dog nutrition, exercise, accessories, and more.