Have you heard about “Doga” — practicing yoga with your dog? The method was developed by Brenda Bryan at the request of the Humane Society — each class is part relaxation, part fun, and all about bonding with your dog.
We recently received a copy of Bryan’s book Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi from The Mountaineers Books to give away to you! To enter, tell us about your dog in comments (Who doesn’t love talking about her dog?) by 5 p.m. EST Tuesday, July 28. When comments close, weâ€™ll choose a winner using a random number generator. Be sure to leave a working email address in the email field so we can get in touch with you if you win.
Click for an excerpt from Barking Buddha so you can try a simple Doga pose at home!
Excerpt from Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi by Brenda Bryan, with permission from The Mountaineers Books:
BARKING BUDDHA POSES FOR GRATITUDE
The poses for Gratitude are simple positions designed to introduce you and your dog to a newfound union with this yoga practice — in the same way that feelings of gratitude are simple and pure and often show us the best part of ourselves. I believe our dogs live in the place of gratitude and union all the time and they remind us to find this inner truth in ourselves by connecting us to these feelings. Consider doing these poses on their own or, as you get more comfortable, as a warm-up to other sets of poses.
Seat with a Treat
Sit on your knees, tops of your feet on the floor; your sit bones should rest comfortably on your heels. (You can also sit in a comfortable cross-legged position with your dog on your lap — Dogi-Yogi Easy Pose — if you have knee problems.) Your Doga partner sits in front of you on the yoga mat.
Place your left hand on your dogi’s right shoulder and your right hand behind your sit bones on the floor. Lift the front of your spine as you gently twist from your low belly. Relax your shoulders.
While you breathe in the pose, explore the shape of your dog’s right shoulder, noticing where the muscle connects to the bone, feeling the shape and size of the muscle. Notice your dog’s breathing, her inhales and exhales. Gently massage your dog’s shoulder as you breathe in your twist. You can do this by making gentle circles on the shoulder with your fingertips or entire hand, depending on the size of your dog.
On the inhale, unwind the twist, lift you sit bones, coming to stand on your knees, and then exhale the sit bones back down to your heels as you sweep your right hand to your dog’s left shoulder and your left hand behind you.
Do this pose two or three times on each side.