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Yoga is great, but “doga” is better

It doesn’t matter what we’re doing; whether she’s jumping up to say hi to me or rambunctiously trying to play tug, as soon as The Yoga Mat comes out, my 10 month-old puppy transforms into a master of zen, content to lie on the mat while I move through my flow.

That beautiful pup up there is Zoey, and this is how we doga.

In case you’ve never heard of it, doga is the wonderful combination of dogs and yoga. I couldn’t tell you where I first heard it, but I know I didn’t make it up. (It’s a real thing, I promise!) And while sometimes it can add a whole new challenge to your yoga practice, it’s become one of my favorite hobbies to do with my pup.

Basically, doga rocks because:

  1. You’re hanging out with your dog! And when you nail that tree pose, nothing is as rewarding as folding down to pet your pretty pup and maybe getting a couple kisses in return.
  2. Even if your flow gets a little interrupted every now and then, you’re still doing yoga! And at least for me, it feels good to set that time aside for myself, clear my mind, and stretch out my muscles.
  3. You’re not the only one working; it’s a great exercise for your dog! For your pup to be still for an hour and just relax on the floor with you is an amazing feat, especially for young dogs. That’s not just a doga lesson, that’s a life lesson.

If you have the opportunity to try doga at home, I highly recommend it. All you need is a yoga mat, blocks or towel (optional), water (for you and your pup!), something to guide your practice (I’m obsessed with Yoga with Adriene right now), and some dog treats or a chew toy.

I wish I could tell you that I’m an incredible dog trainer who taught her pup how to do doga, but if I’m being honest, doga came pretty naturally to Zoey. Because the yoga mat is rarely out (only when I’m actively doing yoga) she was always kind of curious about it. By gently placing it on the floor, I think she associated it with a dog bed, so she couldn’t wait to lay on it. Then I gave her one of her favorite chew toys and voila! She quickly learned to associate the mat with laying peacefully while I move around her.

So even though sometimes she get’s a little too intense with her chew toys (see photo below) and sometimes she tends to lay right underneath me as I’m about to lower my plank, doga has become a favorite hobby, for both Zoey and me.

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Have you tried doga at home? What’s been your experience with it? I’d love to hear your stories 🙂

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