Yoga With A Pet

One of the latest turns the yoga community has taken is towards including your pets in your yoga practice. Many yogis are now introducing their dogs and cats into their yoga classes for some quality bonding time and are having a lot of fun in the process.

This new form of yoga is based off the many beliefs that being around your pet can increase your overall level of health and happiness and many owners are using their pets as ways to make sure they get to their weekly yoga class. It’s a way of ensuring not only that your dog or cat gets their exercise but that you do as well.

Lots of new classes have sprung up to support this including of animals in the yoga studio, particularly for those interested in bringing their dog. These classes are playfully referred to as “doga” (a combination of “dog” and “yoga”) and have taken root in the practices of many pet lovers. Lots of yogi’s report feeling more bonded with their animal and many have even seen benefits in their yoga practices such as deeper stretches, better relaxation, and longer lasting effects from each class.

But not everyone is in love with the idea of having dogs in the studio. Many yogis cite the issues of having dogs in their practice area as being real problems for the rest of the students. Things like hygiene and sanitation top the list, others such as noise complaints, allergy worries, general cleanliness, and even a disrespect for the very foundation of yoga have all been listed as downsides when it comes to yoga with your pets. Some who have attended classes that include animals have complained about the difficulty they had getting their pet to cooperate and the effect that it had on their yoga. It certainly isn’t easy to clear your mind when you’re worried about whether or not the dog is going to have to go to the bathroom any minute now.

There has also been mention of the additional strain that is put on the teacher. Many teachers may be quite familiar with yoga but unable to handle a room full of people and dogs and this can cause chaos taking a great deal away from the yoga experience. There are also plenty of issues that can arise from having more than one dog in the room. Certain dogs may not get along, others may be frightened of dogs larger than them - there is a whole host of problems that can manifest when combining a structured exercise like yoga with carefree attitude of having a dog as a pet.

For some though the struggles are worth the opportunity to have more bonding time with their dog. For many it’s a dual solution - the dog gets to spend time with its owner and the owner gets to make sure they get their yoga class in. As long as the dog is enjoying himself and the owner isn’t having problems controlling the dog it can be a really fun thing to try bringing your pet to your yoga class.

Be sure to take into consideration your dogs demeanor and habits before taking him to class though. If your dog loves to meet new people and does so by running around and jumping on everyone or if he isn’t quite house broken yet it’s best that you wait until such training has been completed not only for your dogs safety but also for the health and benefit of other students and other dogs in the class. Also be sure to bring a few treats along and maybe your dog or cats favorite toy just in case yoga class doesn’t interest them that day.

If you’re prepared and your dog or cat has had the proper training you may really enjoy having your pet accompany you to your yoga class. Give it a try and if you or your pet doesn’t like it you can always go back to walks in the park.