People have been drawn to practicing yoga for hundreds of years. The physical results can be fantastic, but for many, it’s the mental benefits that keep us coming back for more. But why, exactly?
Practicing yoga leaves us with a non-judgmental mind, a loving heart, and a purely honest approach to the world around us. In fact, this enlightened mindset is not too dissimilar to how our dogs act on a daily basis! Think about it: a dog is happy at the simplest of actions, whether it’s walking around the block, catching a chew toy mid-air, or receiving a gentle belly scratch. No action is “too much”, and no action is “not enough” – they simply observe and enjoy the present moment without judgment.
Drawing inspiration from a dog’s judgment-free way of life and incorporating that philosophy into your yoga routine is an amazing way to deepen your practice. But what if you went a step further? What if you actually flowed through a few poses with your dog?
It may sound silly, but incorporating your pup into your practice is a great way to strengthen the pet-parent bond while having a ton of fun on the mat. Most small- to mid-sized pups can be used as extra weight in standing poses to juice up the work that gravity is already doing: think about holding your pup in a standing forward fold, or balancing her on your hip in Trikonasana. Larger pooches are great for restorative postures, too – who wouldn’t love a giant, fluffy bolster?
It’s okay to detach from proper alignment in the spirit of bonding with your furry pal. Let go of what a pose is “supposed” to look like – focus instead on the inspiration you can draw for your pup, and the dual energy you create while flowing through a few postures together.
However you decide to incorporate your dog into your practice, just remember that it’s about letting go, getting inspired, and having fun!
Looking for a little dog yoga inspiration? We’ve teamed up with @DogVacay to bring you a series of dog-friendly online yoga classes. Check out all of the “Practice with Your Pup” videos! Not a subscriber? Get a free month with code WAGS at checkout and we’ll donate $1 for every subscription to rescue organization @WagsAndWalks. Click here to subscribe!