Yes, there is such a thing as doga. Dog yoga!

The art of yoga is actually inspired by many animalistic motions. Think of the “cat/dog” stretch, the motion where one arches their spine like a cat or lifts their neck up like their gleeful canine companion.

One way of activating your pet into action is positioning them into specific postures and stretches. Another method of doga involves the pet as the yoga prop (only if they are comfortable); for example, grazing your pup’s belly if they’re taking a nap while you lean into your downward facing dog. Advocates for pet yoga, discuss the importance of building your relationship with your pet, rather than forcing them into uncomfortable poses.

Yoga means “joining” or “uniting.” Why do dogs need yoga? Madhavi Bhatia advocates for dog yoga because the practice “creates a harmony and synchronization of energy flow between the owner and dog.”

Being closer to your dog to help them stretch can help them overcome anxiety. There are other benefits to teaching your dog to allow you to touch any part of his body, including his paws and toes. One owner begin gentle doga stretches with her Dalmatian and these stretches helped her overcome a fear of nail clipping. With her young, frisky, impatient mutt, she learned to tolerate the stretches, and joyfully anticipates these moments with her owner!

Learn more about Doga on TheBark.com.

In Texas, Doga classes are taught in Austin by Nicole Vykoukal. There is a growing body of evidence and support for the movement that involving our pets in mind-body-spirit integration exercises (such as yoga and meditation) can increase our mental, emotional and physical well-being. Austin Doga provides opportunities for stress reduction and healing by creating a safe, supportive environment and fostering the human-canine bond. For more information on her classes see AustinDoga.com. Namastay Yoga in Dallas also provides Doga classes.