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From Yoga to Doga: How Canines are Making their Way to the Yoga Mat

Fitting in a yoga session can sometimes be a challenge, especially when you have a dog who often mistakes the exercise mat for a place to nap. Instead of seeing your pup as an obstacle to your yoga class, why not make them a part of it? 


Woman doing yoga with her dog


Doga is as fun as it sounds: yoga with your best friend, a.k.a dog! What could be better? If some of you are thinking to yourselves: “how on earth will I get my dog to sit still with me?!”, then keep reading for some great insights on this fun activity! After all, the Downward Dog was named after our furry friends, so they must be good at it! 


Doga can actually provide a lot of happiness to its practitioners, which strengthens the bond between humans and dogs. The goal is to improve the relationship between humans and dogs, prevent or reduce behavioral disorders and enjoy a rewarding activity together. 

Training a dog for yoga


There’ll be lots of laughs, and at the end of the session, you’ll feel proud of your pooch and yourself for what you’ve accomplished. You’ll learn how to practice yoga with your dog and actually integrate it into the yoga sequences. There are different types of Doga, some use the dog as more of an accessory, taking the role of a yoga block or a leg support. Others include the dog into the postures and will teach you a pose you can do together! 


Gaby Dufresne-Cyr is a certified yoga teacher who specializes in animal behaviour and started her own version of Doga in Montreal, Quebec. Her philosophy is: “I teach humans how to teach their pet to do a posture along with them. Their pose becomes the trigger for the dog to do the same pose. So if I do the child's pose, my dog does the same.” 


If you’re curious about practicing some Doga, inquire if there are any studios near you that offer this refreshing take on yoga! Remember that it’s all about having fun and spending quality time with your pup. If you’d like to get started at home, try observing your dog during your yoga sequences and see how it reacts. Patience, and possibly some treats, will be necessary, but teaching a dog a new trick (or in this case yoga pose), is never impossible! 

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