Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Doga; That Time I Did Yoga With My Dog

A little while back, I was contacted by about trying a yoga practice with my dog. I've heard of this before, and actually, one of my cousins is a dog behavior therapist (like the dog whisperer), so I decided to give it a go. I love yoga. I love my pup. Let's combine this business!

I immediately found myself facing obstacles. I was googling and googling and couldn't find good yoga poses to do with my dog. Lots of poses involved picking them up... umm.. my dog weighs over 70 lbs. I'm not gonna hold her under my arm in triangle pose. Just. Aint. Gun. Happen.

But I thought we could try some of the sitting and stretching poses. Panda loves to take over my mat whenever I practice at home, so I thought it shouldn't be a problem to get her to come sit with me.

I was right.

It probably has a lot to do with how we trained her, but Panda is a very physical dog. She doesn't get rewarded with treats all the time, but she does always get rewarded with hugs. She loves to be touched and held, even if its just paw to hand.

So, when doggie yoga incorporated a lot of petting and massaging, she was majorly into it.

FYI, this is a Panda hug. It looks like I'm holding her there, but she's pressing into me. It calms her down - just like human hugs make us feel better, getting a good squeeze brings Panda to peace.

From here, I got her to lay on her back and just did some simple massaging of her legs and paws - gently pressing between the pads and tendons.

We also tried this one to stretch out her hind legs and hips, but she really did not like it.

Mostly it ended up being peaceful cuddling time with my dog, and I'm cool with that.

I'm not sure we should call it yoga though. Maybe doggie massage would be a more apt title.

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