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What the Heck is Doga?

Yoga for Dogs? Read more about it here...

As a Yoga teacher for the past 15 years, I have come to appreciate the many health benefits that Yoga offers, including increased strength and flexibility, calmness of mind, and a greater ability to focus. I also happen to be a dog-lover, and have 2 Golden Retrievers that I run agility with, so I am acutely aware of the importance of keeping them in peak physical condition. Thus, when I read an article several years ago about a new fad starting up called "Doga" or "Yoga for Dogs", I was intrigued to say the least. It's been on my radar screen for at least the past 4 years, and finally, I found a class offered nearby in Waltham at Flow Dog, a Physical Therapy Rehabilitation center for dogs. I was signed on as soon as I saw the information!

Three weeks ago, my dog Comet and I went to Waltham for our first of 3 weekly classes, without a clue what to expect. There were 4 other dogs there, and what they accomplished was truly amazing. All of us owners were surprised at how well the dogs did and how easy and natural it was for them to go into the various poses. If there is one caveat in dog training it is this: "Never underestimate the power of the cookie!" In 3 short weeks, all the dogs in the class were doing the "Mountain Pose" (standing beautifully on all fours), seated and standing twists, the cobra pose, and of course downward- and upward- facing dog. The really amazing part of it all was the shift in energy of the dogs from the beginning of each class to the end. To a dog, they were all more focused and clearly more relaxed at the end of class, and they even got along better with each other. For me, it really validated the power of Yoga... this is a discipline that really works with the body to quiet the mind!

Yoga has become an integral part of my life over the years, almost like brushing my teeth. I have a daily home practice and can't imagine not doing it, even for a day. It grounds me, relaxes me and helps me focus on all my other day-to-day activities. As for Comet, he was exhausted last night. He came home, crawled under our bed, and passed out. I know from experience that new habits take time to develop. We'll have to see if he continues...

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cynthia April 15, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Great article, thank you.

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