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 by danielle on 20 May 2014 |
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Doga is on the rise. What is doga you ask? Pretty much what it sounds like: yoga you can do with your dog.
What started as something people would tilt their heads at the idea of and laugh has become the du jour activity for the upwardly mobile in exclusive New York neighbourhoods. It has also become quite the thing in Japan.

Doga incorporates dogs into simple yoga poses. Stretching and gentle massage is provided for both pet and owner. Sometimes human and dog interact directly, or the dog lies on the floor.
In sun salutation, or ‘Upward Paw Pose’, owners lift their dogs onto their hind legs. In ‘Resting Pose’, a person lays back, legs bent over their dog’s body to relax their spine. In ‘Chaturanga’ dogs raise their front paws in the air whilst their humans provide support.


As you might imagine, not all dogs are perfectly behaved in a room full of other dogs and new people. But the antics of the dogs learning doga is all part of the fun and relaxation. Laughing is after all, good for the soul.
New Yorker Suzi Teitelman has been cited as one of the forerunners of the doga trend. She was inspired to start classes after she found her Cocker Spaniel Coali continually liked to lie beneath her and interfere when she did yoga around the house. Doga instructors do not have to complete a formalized course to practice, but such is its growing popularity, training seminars now exist in America.


Doga is cited as another way aside from ‘walkies’ that dogs are encouraging their owners to exercise. Practitioners often say they enjoy the lighter atmosphere of yoga classes. Traditional yoga classes, whilst rewarding, can sometimes feel too serious for some. Doga is a lighthearted take on the discipline.


Dogs benefit most from the time spent with their owners, say vets. The classes spent up close and personal their masters is often a relaxing and rewarding experience for inner-city dogs, who are the most frequent attendees, who generally spend a lot of time alone while their owners are at work.


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