by Laura Jones-Miller
This is a picture of my dog Sparky. He’s eleven now…and as you can see he has fully mastered the art of doggy meditation. I would love to see some pictures of your dog doing DOGA…When you share your dog pictures it validates the long, long hours Sparky spends in this Zen- like state..tee hee…
Doga (“Dog Yoga”) is the beautiful practice of yoga with pet dogs.
Through acts of meditation, gentle massage, and stretching, doga practitioners seek to achieve a greater harmony with their dogs. Canine acupuncture and chanting are also known to take place within the occasional doga routine.
In Doga, the submissive dogs and their human masters work as one unit – the masters help their dogs facilitate different poses and, in some cases, the pets are used as props or instruments while the masters perfect their poses. This is seen to be a Zen way of practicing non-traditional yoga and training, while exploring power play dynamics.
Doga has received some criticism from the yoga community. Doga classes have been labeled inappropriate for trivializing the sacred practice by turning it into a “fad”, for their lax policies on teacher certification, and for the dogs’ interference in participants’ concentration and relaxation when they are not properly trained to cooperate. Which, for those of us who have a strong bond with our animals, we find this to be an unkind criticism.
The UK charity Dogs Trust have also warned that unsupervised Doga may impact the welfare of the dogs, stating: “It is important to remember that dogs can’t tell us when they have had enough. Doga, and any variation of it, should always be carried out under the watchful eye of trained professionals”.
Doga enthusiasts have argued that the practice emphasizes yoga’s focus on union between beings, helps establish a pack mentality, strengthens the bond between owner and pet, and can provide additional weight resistance thereby intensifying one’s yoga ritual. Doga can purportedly also provide a great source of entertainment for dog-friendly class members.
If you love spending quality time with your dog like I do…give doga a try. I think it’s fun to do at home…are dogs love DOGA massage (ie belly, neck, leg, etc. rubs)…they also, as we all know, LOVE savasana. HA! …they must because they practice it for like 18 hours a day!!!
…”Namaste” love and peace to all of our doggy practioners out there!
Hi Ali here,
I have to add that Sofie was born with severe hip dysplasia and I have been practicing massage, acupressure and dietary therapy on her for most of her life. As a puppy she was eating the natural brands dog food and she was very itchy and rashy all the time. Since I switched her to a clean organic, no additives diet, homeopathic medication and acupuncture (she actually loves it and does a form of doga during the massage – she stretches her legs back) I have seen great improvement.
So Doga can be used to heal dogs with spinal and hip problems. 🙂