Exploring Doga: Yoga with Your Dog

Exploring Doga: Yoga with Your Dog

Yoga has been helping people get stronger, stay calmer, and remain flexible for thousands of years. It seems only natural then that Man’s Best Friend is now welcomed alongside their humans on the yoga mat, too. Advanced yogis and newcomers alike are jumping on the trend of practicing yoga with their dog, known as “doga.” Considering the shared benefits of canine companionship and the mind-body connection of yoga, doga might just be a match made in wellness heaven worth trying with your pup.

What Is Doga?

There are two types of dog yoga—also known as doga:

  1. Yoga with Your Dog by Your Side: In this type, your dog is simply present in the yoga class. She can socialise with other dogs and people in the class while soaking up the calming yoga atmosphere.
  2. Hands-On Doga: In this style, you gently guide your dog through various stretches. For example:
    • Chair Pose: Gently raise your dog's front legs while she sits on her back legs.
    • Wheelbarrow Pose: Lift your pup’s back legs while she supports herself on her front legs.

Benefits of Dog Yoga

For Humans:

  • Socialisation: Doga classes provide a social opportunity for pet owners to connect with like-minded people.
  • Calming Environment: The presence of dogs can enhance the relaxing atmosphere of a yoga class.
  • Virtual Classes: Online doga classes offer a way to practice yoga with your dog while maintaining social distance and avoiding distractions.

For Dogs:

  • Socialisation: Helps dogs acclimate to new people, stimuli, places, and pets, promoting healthier, more confident behavior.
  • Handling Tolerance: Doga can make dogs more comfortable with being handled, which can be beneficial during grooming and veterinary visits.
  • Physical Benefits: While research is limited, doga may improve circulation and range of motion in dogs. Some yoga poses, inspired by canine movements, might already benefit them naturally.

For Both:

  • Bonding: Doga is a fun way to spend quality time together and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

How to Safely Try Doga


  1. Research Classes: Check with local yoga studios for doggie-and-me classes or virtual options. Confirm any limits on dog size and behavior.
  2. Acclimate Your Dog: Let your dog explore the yoga space and meet other participants before the class begins. Bring treats to help her feel comfortable.

During Class:

  1. Monitor Comfort: Pay attention to signs of discomfort or stress in your dog.
  2. Move Carefully: Avoid forcing your dog into positions. Only try poses adapted for dogs.
  3. Use Judgement: If your dog doesn’t do well around other dogs or people, consider practicing doga at home instead.

At Home:

  1. Practice Together: Use YouTube videos to learn dog yoga poses in the comfort of your living room or backyard.
  2. Patience and Treats: Use treats and gentle coaxing to help your dog learn the moves.


Doga offers a unique way to bond with your dog while enjoying the physical and mental benefits of yoga. Whether in a class or at home, practicing yoga with your dog can enhance your relationship and improve both your well-being and that of your furry friend. Remember, the goal is not perfection but enjoying the time spent together, even if it means ending up in a cuddle puddle on the floor.

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