The Doga Experiment

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”.

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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
  • Savasana
  • Lotus

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!

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12 comments
maile777
maile777

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Sadie_and_Co
Sadie_and_Co

Oooooh, yay, Veganuary!!!  How is that going?  Let me know if you want some yummy recipes - happy to share.

MostlyMyDog
MostlyMyDog moderator

@Sadie_and_Co Hi hi! So far, so good! I must confess, on a particularly sad night I ate McDonald's, BUT I am working to maintain at least 80% vegan for the foreseeable future (cheese is definitely my downfall). I may take you up on recipes, soon!

Lisa
Lisa

We haven't tried doga or yoga, but like Chuleta, my guys love massages.

MattieDog
MattieDog

So sweet - we think just enjoying the time with each other, taking in a good stretch, breathing deeply - it's heavenly!

Carleen
Carleen

I'm pretty sure that my corgis would be a major fail too, although they do like to try to come sit on me when I do yoga at home.

FiveSibesMom
FiveSibesMom

Love the pics! My Sibes are all motivated by treats, too! I think they will agree with Chuleta about preference for the massage over doga, although...if it weren't for arthritis and leg ailments (both theirs and mine!) I'd love to do it! Thanks for a great post!

Jasmine Bachrach | About Pet Rats
Jasmine Bachrach | About Pet Rats

My cats enjoy participating whenever I roll out my yoga mat. They like getting underneath me when I do push ups and they sit on my back while I do "cats" and "cows". Doga sounds interesting. Do they adjust the poses to make them better fit a dog's anatomy?

MostlyMyDog
MostlyMyDog moderator

@Jasmine Bachrach | About Pet Rats It is actually a lot of humans posing while holding dogs, lol. I am not the most graceful person, so this was a dangerous endeavor for Chuleta. It's no surprise she feels safer with all four feet on the mat. 

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