A Guide to Dog Yoga

Owning a dog is so much more than a walk in the park and a game of fetch. Nowadays many places are dog-friendly, including some yoga classes! This article looks at what dog yoga is and how you can get involved with your pooch.

What is dog yoga?

Dog yoga, or doga as it's sometimes referred to, is a dog-friendly yoga class where pups are encouraged to engage with each other as well as with the human class members. The aim of dog yoga is to create a sense of calm through this interaction, working on the relationship between dog and owner. The classes are designed to function like a normal yoga class but the dogs are typically allowed to roam free and interact as they wish.

What are the benefits of dog yoga?

Mahny Djahanguiri is a dog yoga instructor and she suggests that by allowing the dogs to behave as they wish, after a few sessions you may begin to increase trust with your dog and reduce tension for both you and your furry friend. On her website, Dogamahny, she explains the benefits and suggests that the main impact dog yoga can have is to reduce stress for both dogs and humans. By working on breathing and meditation techniques with your dog near you, you may find that this works as a calming influence on your dog.

Do dogs enjoy yoga?

Every dog is different so it is hard to say whether your dog will enjoy the class. However, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce stress and increase the chance of your dog enjoying their first yoga class.

  • Ensure that your dog is well-socialised. There will be a lot of other dogs in the class and it is important that they are comfortable and confident around both dogs and people.

  • Arrive early to give your dog a chance to settle in. Some classes have a strict policy which means you must arrive 30 minutes before the class to allow the dogs to become comfortable around on another.

  • Try to encourage your dog to use the bathroom before the class. This is the key to the enjoyment of both the humans and the dogs in the yoga studio. It is also important to take a bag and some tissues should your dog have an accident.

  • Adhere to the rules on leads. Some classes will allow all the dogs to roam around the room freely whereas others will as owners to keep their dog on a loose lead. It is important that you respect the rules.

  • Keep an eye on your dog. It is important that you read any signals from your pet, you know them better than anyone so try to gauge how they are feeling. If they appear stress it may be worth moving to a spot slightly further away from the other class members, or even taking them outside.

Where can I try dog yoga?

Dog-friendly yoga classes are becoming increasingly popular and there are teachers offering classes around the country. The Real Dog Yoga website has a list of instructors based all over the UK so you can find the closest class to you and give dog yoga a go.

Do I need my own dog to try dog yoga?

No, many dog-friendly yoga studios allow those without a dog to join in dog yoga classes. If you love dogs but cannot have one yourself, or if you simply want to experience a different type of yoga, studios such as Light Yoga Space have dog-friendly yoga classes which are open to everyone.

Insuring your dog with Towergate and Healthy Pets

Experiencing new things such as dog yoga can be a great bonding experience for you and your furry friend. Insuring them can help give you greater peace of mind and help to keep your dog protected. For more information on dog insurance from our partners at Healthy Pets, take a look at our dedicated dog insurance page or call us on 01730 230 564 to speak to a specialist adviser.

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