Dog daycare and dog massage, I’ve heard of, but dog yoga? I guess it’s all the rage on the east coast, after being developed by Suzi Teitelman, who calls it doga. Teitelman, who is a human yoga instructor, noticed that her dog seemed interested in being close to her when she did her own yoga poses. From these humble beginnings, doga has grown to where classes are now offered in at least 100 locations domestically, as well as in Europe.
Jennifer DeAngelis, a yoga instructor at the All That Matters studio in the village of Wakefield, RI, says she was shocked at first that a dog might be interested in doga, but after giving it a bit more thought and attending a class with her dog, she sees that it works.
“We all know that animals can sense our moods. They can sense our anxiety, but they can also sense when we are relaxed, and they feed off that.”
Dogs have a natural disposition for yoga. “No one lives in the moment more than your dog. There is no past or future. There is only this minute,” says DeAngelis.
At the beginning of a typical class, the dog simply watches you do stretches and breathing exercises. The end of the class is dedicated to helping the dog do stretches, to the extent the dog is willing to participate. Aficionados liken it to anything else you want your dog to do: repetition, consistency, and rewards are vital.
And you get rewarded, too, by spending quality time with your dog and improving both your health and your dog’s!
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!