Yoga is huge. It’s everywhere you turn nowadays – from movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall (caution: swearing!) to TV shows such as Dexter, and everywhere in between. I love yoga. I went to my first class about four months ago, and I devote at least 15 minutes to it every day (and sometimes up to an hour). But doga? Really? Who came up with this?
Doga is exactly what it sounds like… yoga that you do with your dog. When I first heard about it, I thought that I had to be missing an integral part of the concept. I, for one, am frequently reminding myself to make sure I’m breathing slowly and steadily, or keeping my postures properly aligned. How do you work on improving your own yoga practice when you’re constantly busy re-positioning your dog? So I decided to dig a little deeper.
As it turns out, there’s quite a clash of opinions regarding doga. Some believe that doga is trivializing the ancient practice of yoga, while others argue that yoga is about living in harmony with all beings – so having your canine companion there makes complete sense.
But does it work? Doga instructor Suzi Teitelman, who has been teaching doga since 2002, claims that “the owners often say that they’ve never see their pet so relaxed”. However, Lakeshore Athletic Club instructor Becky Solomon admits that dogs can’t really do yoga, and the goal of the classes is more to socialize and exercise the dogs – along with a little massage for relaxation. Perhaps it’s just me, but the dogs in this YouTube video don’t look all that relaxed. In fact, a number of them appear to be quite stressed out:
I didn’t want to knock it before I tried it, though, so in the name of “fairness”, I unrolled the yoga mat and invited Jack to take part in our very first (and very last) doga session. Complete with awkward voiceover for your enjoyment.
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What are your thoughts on doga? Is it a crazy gimmick, or is there more to this new fad than meets the eye?
(There are no certifications or requirements for becoming a doga instructor, if you were curious. I’ll keep my opinion on that particular piece of information to myself.)