We love yoga. We love dogs. You know what we love even more? Yoga with dogs, aka doga. That’s right: Now you can perform your favorite poses with your four-legged friend in tow. Mahny Djahanguiri, author of Doga: Yoga for You and Your Dog, demonstrates a variety of canine-centric yoga postures that will help strengthen your bond with your furry friend while strengthening your body. Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it? Below, we walk you through two different sequences from Djahanguiri’s book. Try not to say “awww” while looking at the pictures. We double-dog dare ya!
The Hip Sitter
Extended side angle stretch (Uthita Parsvakonasana)
This stretch is a great grounding posture that is made more challenging by your dog. It strengthens your legs, helps stability and opens the thoracic spine. You need to think about maintaining length throughout and having your dog on your hip reminds you to keep your torso stretched. He’ll also help deepen the pose and actually make the pose harder as you really have to work with legs and core to support the extra weight.
1. Start by standing with your feet wide apart, with your toes turned in slightly and your dog on your left hip.
2. Turn your right foot out. Inhale and push out with your left leg, bending your right knee until it is above your right ankle bone. Extend your right arm out to the side, lengthening both sides of your waist, extending as fully as possible
3. Maintaining eye contact as you move, exhale and place the right hand behind the right foot. Keep full extension. Inhale and rotate the navel towards the ceiling. As you do so your dog might move higher on your flank, which will help with the pressure on your knee. However, you can keep your dog on your hip in order to support him. To come back out of the pose, inhale and straighten the right leg. Once upright, release your dog or change sides if he’s happy enough to continue.
Get into the Groove A
This sequence requires strength and flexibility – try it once you have mastered all the standing poses it contains. It’s designed to build core strength, poise and stamina as well as the mental strength you will need to attempt more advanced poses later. A great rejuvenating sequence, it will make you break into a sweat!
1. Downward Facing Dog
(Ardho Mukha Svanasana)
Place your dog on the front of the mat and start from Downward Facing Dog.
2. Turn your left foot at a 75-degree angle, inhale and step your right leg forwards, keeping your left heel of the floor. Pick your dog up.
3. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Inhale and lift your dog up in Warrior 1.
4. Exhale, lower your dog and place him on top of your upper left hip as you pivot your hips to the left.
5. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
Inhale, extend your right arm out in line with your shoulders, gazing past the third finger, in Warrior 2. Stay in this pose for 3–5 breaths.