Does Your Dog Do Doga?By Lavina Melwani • Mar 14th, 2010 • Category: Health
Are you into yoga? What about your dog? If you didn’t know this already, there is yoga for dogs, known as Doga and it’s beneficial to your pets. Brenda Bryan teaches Barking Buddha Doga to dogs while her colleague Kelly Page teaches Ashtanga Yoga to humans at WestsideYoga and Doga in California (www.westsideyogadoga.com), using different ways of teaching to reach a similar goal of union connection and joy.
Here Brenda Bryan describes the value of doga for both humans and animals. “When I first began developing Barking Buddha Doga, I didn’t think of it as something beyond a fun activity to do with your dog. My dogs, Honey and Gus enjoyed the attention and I enjoyed spending quality time with them. I also really loved watching the sweet interactions between the humans and dogs who attended the classes. But what I’ve really noticed is how the dogs have taught me to go with the flow, be more patient and not to cling to how I think things should be.
We’re working with dogs here, there are always surprises, some pleasant, some not so much. But whatever the situation, whether it is a dog whining or barking through class, or the young energetic dog making a “dogic” breakthrough and becoming zen on the mat, the dogs make me a better human through my experiences with them on the yoga mat and in everyday life.
Dogs with their naturally open hearts and healing nature make the perfect yoga partners. The word yoga means union and dogs being pack animals are all about union. Union in yoga means to connect to the divinity within. Basically this means connecting to your most perfect, wonderful self and then feeling that same connection to those around you.
Our dogs are naturally without ego and all about love so they can help us discover the connection to our wonderful selves by first connecting to the love we have for them. In doga as we benefit from the poses physically we can also learn from our dogs. As we deepen our connection and our relationship with our dogs, we can benefit from our dogi’s open hearted nature to open our own hearts and then maybe bring a little more love into the world around us.”
Bryan has written a book titled Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi, and here she tells you about the value of the yogic path for dogs. She shows several doggie mudras which will benefit both human and canine. A few examples:
Heart to Hound Mudra: Place one hand on your heart and one on your dogi’s chest or heart area. This is a sweet mudra that focuses your energy on the love you have for your dog and the love your dog has for you.
Inner Dog Mudra: Rest your forehead on your dog’s forehead. In this mudra the intention is to open up to your dog’s consciousness and connect the energy of your minds.
If the book doesn’t make a believer of you, it will at least make you smile. And that’s good for your health. So although I’m not a dog owner I recommend what brings you and your dog together!