Should Your Dog Practice Yoga with You?

I’m a huge dog lover.

I also love yoga. LOTS of people love dogs and also love yoga, and so now we have “Doga,” a yoga class for humans and their dogs. Here’s what happens in a Doga Class:

“In chaturanga, dogs sit with their front paws in the air while their human partners provide support. In an “upward-paw pose,” or sun salutation, owners lift dogs onto their hind legs. In a resting pose, the person reclines, with legs slightly bent over the dog’s torso, bolster-style, to relieve pressure on the spine.” (NYTimes, 04/08/09)

I can’t imagine my two 80-pound Labrador Retrievers would love to sit with their front paws in the air while I support them, or for me to lift them onto their hind legs. Are you kidding? They’d hate it. And they’d surely be more interested in sniffing the other dogs’ butts than acting as a bolster for me to relax my spine!

My dogs are DOGS and they live dog lives.
Here are ways that I treat my dogs like dogs:

  1. They don’t eat what I eat
  2. I don’t ask them to get a job and pitch in on the household chores
  3. I don’t expect them to understand everything I am saying and I don’t require that they answer me
  4. I take them for long walks everyday and they are on leashes (I’m not)
  5. I get down on the floor with them and wrestle and play and snuggle
  6. I don’t make them go to Doga classes

Doesn’t this dog look miserable (photo from the New York Times)? I think this is bordering on animal cruelty.

I’d love to hear what you think. Is Doga just another way to package up yoga to be appealing to Westerners? Do you think it is good for Yoga? For Dogs? Do you think it demeans yoga? Dogs?


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3 Responses to “Should Your Dog Practice Yoga with You?”

  1. Dan Says:

    Thanks so much for the link Double Dog!

    All our best,
    I’m Tired of… (ITo)

  2. Ingrid Says:

    I’m usually for anything that brings animals and people closer together, but this seems to be stretching the limits a bit, and that pup in the photo definitely does not look happy!

    I think it’s probably a well-meaning attempt to get people to spend more time with their dogs while doing something that’s good for both of them – but short of having Fido lying next to you during Savasana while finishing up your practice in your own home, I’d keep yoga and dogs separate.

  3. Lee Ryan Says:

    You’ve got a lucky dog.

    Yoga may not be for dogs, but if folks can get other folks to pay money for it…well, I feel sorry for THEIR dogs. Makes you wonder what would happen if dogs could choose their owners.

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