It is still National Train Your Dog Month so in that spirit and the "New Year Get in Shape Resolution" I would like to encourage you to exercise with your dog. When you don't feel like going to the gym and you want to exercise you can get the yoga mat out and connect with your dog. It seems like when I get the exercise mat out the dogs want to be in the way and wiggling around me so why not include them in the fun.
The dogs enjoy the stretching and massage which is good for circulation and tension. They are also getting your undivided attention so it builds the relationship and trust between you and your dog.
My dog is not Mellow enough for yoga? How can I do this with my crazy pup?
Doga is an activity with your dog not a quiet spiritual meditation in an ashram on a sacred mountain. Most dogs react positively to doga at some point some take longer to respond to the mellow vibe of the doga. Your doga practice will evolve over time. Keep an open mind.
So how do you start?
Make the yoga mat a positive place to be. Don't use treats-that tends to distract the dogs. Be aware of your dogs physical condition and your abilities as well. Size of the dog matters in how you incorporate them into the doga. Enhance your practice over time and grow by making the doga a little more challenging-deepening the stretches holding the poses longer. Have fun!!
Where can I learn more?
A great book- "Barking Buddha" by Brenda Bryan I found it on Amazon.com
A DVD - Yoga 4 Dogs by Amy Stevens
I prefer the Barking Buddha book but if you need visual instruction the Yoga 4 Dogs is a good basic starting place. Doga Dog website has a video for sale-the trailer looks good. Have fun-do what comes naturally for you and your dog. Your Doga time together will only get better with practice.