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Having a "Ruff" Day? Relax with Doga - Dog Yoga

Not Your Usual Downward Dog


New Year, new you. On the back of reading that yoga is the most popular fitness choice comes a trend: Doga. No longer is it enough to sweat buckets while you do asanas. You must enlist the help of (you guessed it) a four-legged partner.

Dogs + Yoga. It's thought the combination is not only therapeutic for Fido, but Doga can help forge an emotional connection between owners and their pets, particularly in abandoned, traumatized, or rescued dogs.

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Doga, the latest brand of crazy comes at you from Manhattan via London, and it's probably the best thing I've seen since this ill-advised type of knitting.   

In a hilarious video, reporter Clemmie Moody tries out Doga for the first time with her bulldog, Bella, under the watchful eye of yoga instructor, Mahny Djahanguiri.

“[Doga] is all about breathing in sync with your dog, allowing them to pick up on your energy and relax," says Djahanguiri. “...If you’re relaxed, Bella will be too and she’ll move and breathe with you. If you try and physically control the dog, then it simply becomes about training your pet—not nurturing or developing."
Predictably Bella the Bully spends most of the session licking her owner's face and feet. But before you assume that Doga is all quackery, at one stage the pooch begins unexpectedly "mimicking [Moodie's] inhalation and exhalation patterns."
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Of course there is also an unfortunate moment in which Moodie's face ends up mashed against the Maltese's privates, but perhaps that's just a novice's bad luck. In any event Bella sure seems happy. After the hour-long session, which includes some massage, she is by all accounts "almost comatose."

“Doga enables the parasympathetic nervous system to override the active nervous system,” Djahanguiri says, explaining that the bulldog picked up on and modelled her owner's more relaxed state and controlled breathing. Err...
Doga runs in 90-minute sessions at a cost of £75 (CD$135) in Djahanguiri's studio. And private sessions are available. In addition to client services, the 41-year-old instructor has a book coming out later this year and will be running international "Dogamahny" workshops.

You saw it here first, people.