Because this past year consisted of multiple visits to the emergency room, I have committed myself to a healthier 2016. As cliché as that sounds, I truly have no choice but to make health my paramount focus, from now on, if I want to avoid future complications. Maintaining motivation has been difficult for me in the past, so my new approach to engaging in healthier habits is to participate in challenges posed by supportive communities. For example, I am participating in a vegan challenge for the month of January called Veganuary. Having to only focus on being vegan for a single month is far less daunting than having to commit to the idea of being vegan, forever. Slowly integrating changes and having mini milestones allows for me to feel less overwhelmed and more encouraged after completion, and completing something in itself is incredibly motivating. If you are similarly difficult to motivate, I suggest giving this a try!
I also committed to thirty days of yoga. I love yoga, but having been diagnosed with a degenerative disorder in my back, the pain has been excruciating enough to keep me off of the yoga matt. But I need to be able to strengthen my body in order to prevent the furtherance of this issue, so I do the yoga, and it slowly becomes easier while my movements become more fluid. I am excited about this!
This cold weather led me to realize that Chuleta has not been getting much exercise, herself, so in honor of Get Fit With Your Pet month, I decided to try doga. Chuleta usually bothers me while on the matt, so why not add her to my routine? According to Mahny Djahanguiri, author of Doga: Yoga for You and Your Dog, the two primary benefits of doga are that it, “…allows you to strengthen and deepen your natural bond with your dog,” and, “it decreases anxiety and relieves stress in you and your dog”.
Being a senior dog, Chuleta is fragile. Her hind quarters are very weak due to luxating patellas (floating kneecaps), which is an ailment common in little dogs. The doga experiment was short lived and motivated by treats. She really wasn’t having any of it. She hates being held and refused to let me hold her during certain poses, some of which included:
- Sun salute
- Triangle pose
So, major fail. The Chihuahua prefers doggie massage and nap time to yoga with mom. At least we can say that we tried! Chuleta’s yoga experiment is also a strike off of her bucket list! One down, thirteen to go! Eleanor, Chuleta’s cousin, also wanted in on the fun, but again, less interest in bonding, more interest in treats.
Have you and your pup embarked on a yoga routine, together? Has it strengthened your relationship or was your dog as disinterested as Chuleta? Post pics or stories below!