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Doga: Dog Yoga, Frisky Business or Risky Fad?

in In Class, Meditations on Mutations, YD News

doga-yoga-pup-urdhvaFor the most part we’ve refrained from comment on the whole Doga thing. Hey we think it’s pretty adorable and probably therapeutic for either companion, but it strikes us as a little kooky (we’re not the only ones, look at that little pup’s mug- we don’t know what he’s thinking but it sure doesn’t look like bliss). And now the New York Times has joined in chasing the Doga tail. OK we’ll bite…

So, what are the risks of people, and dogs, practicing Doga?

From NYT article:

“Doga runs the risk of trivializing yoga by turning a 2,500-year-old practice into a fad,” said Julie Lawrence, 60, a yoga instructor and studio owner in Portland, Ore.

And we can only imagine she says that because it is hilarious! Doing yoga with your dogs, ridic! Besides the silly imagery, there’s currently no training certification for teaching Dog Yoga. Any old Yogamarm off the street can buy into the craze and call herself a Doga Guru.

Plus there’s also the chance of incessant barking and overstuffed dog bellies full of treats for coercion into yoga poses (doga purists object to such allegations). And no one mentions the possibility of all that kundalini energy culminating in the form of Doga rage. No good. Bad Doga.


So why are people bringing an extra four legs to be on all fours?

Ms. Kari Harendorf, 38, of Manhattan offers clearly the most logical reasoning:

“Jobs are disappearing,” she said. “Mortgage payments are looming. Change is everywhere, but your dog remains steadfast. So, why not spend time together?”

At $15-25 a class we’d think spending time together could come at a cheaper price tag, like free, outside, in the park , where your furry friend is probably the happiest.

It can be beneficial for the dog, says Chicago Doga teacher Kristyn Caliendo, who caters to doggie needs and provides massage techniques as part of a holistic approach to canine care.

Ms. Caliendo’s classes focus on poses and massage for dogs aimed at improving digestion and heart function, and poses for people that emphasize stress reduction and feeling well.

But honestly, let’s address the real issue here, is Doga for the dogs? Or for the human’s needs? You should probably ask yourself that same question before stuffing Fido into his luon and wrapping him around your neck for uttanasana.

Anyways, like with any other yoga mutation, if you have the cash and your dog enjoys it as much as you do, and you may not have otherwise stepped your human paws across the yoga threshold, then by all means get your Doga on. If you come out barking you’re on your own!

By the way, don’t miss the NY Times article slideshow… it’s priceless!

Bonding With Their Downward-Facing Humans [NY Times]

7 comments… add one
  • Houndlvr67

    The poochie in the top picture looks like he is getting his junk squished…One question, what happens if you are doing the downward dog in your smokin’ pair of Lulus and the Great Dane in the row behind you wants to do the humpity hump???

  • I can tell you that my yogi friends in India think American yogis are nuts.

  • All I know is that practicing yoga with a young springer spaniel in the house is close to impossible. I find it significant, in fact, that none of the people pictured have medium or large sized active dogs…i.e. dogs that would take getting down on the floor as I sign you want to wrestle…

  • seems like a good way to loose your drishti …. and the ultimate ego distraction for not deepening your own practice… Hum Guru!!! Namaha

  • Mindy

    Are dogs really that stressed that we need a special class to rub their bellies? I can do that for free at home. It seems that Doga is becoming a trend everywhere, though, even in the small cities and towns of the mid-west.

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