Yoga Dog is a great idea. In theory.
Yoga is a physical exercise, a mindfulness practice, a way to reconnect with the body and thereby find inner peace.
There are plenty of folks who do yoga with their dogs. Amazing stuff!
I know these people put hours of effort into training their dog, where I have not. Which is why their dogs excel at yoga and mine does not.
Sandy does a good downward facing dog and upward facing dog, and a great happy puppy. But that is the extent of her yoga dog skills.
As part of my 2021 mindfulness exploration focus, I decided to make more time for yoga.
But Sandy is left out.
She snuffles her nose under the closed door.
Guilt seeps in, along with the whining.
I figured we need to bond, to spend time together. Why couldn't she could lie on her bed while I do this?
Why not let her in while I yoga?
1. She is helpful. She rolls out out my mat for me. Unfortunately, she is not good at rolling out a mat.
Her technique is more "nesting" than "smoothing."
2.Tabletop pose becomes “dog under the table” pose. While cute and fun, this doesn’t really help my cat-cow motion. I wonder if she would stop if I added the animal sounds. It would get her attention. It might just convince her I am unfit to lead our little pack.
3. She needs belly rubs during triangle pose and tells me this by rolling onto her back, slamming her body into the weight bearing leg of my triangle. We are in danger of becoming a “dog-human-mangle pile” pose.
4. She brings squeaky toys to class. It is hard to hear over the noise so I turn up the volume on my laptop, interrupting my mindfulness.
But I am proud of myself that I can work around her need for play. I am a good alpha.
Then Sandy stops playing, and the room quiets. Suddenly the yogini is yelling at me to relax my eyebrows.
Volume button! volume button! Yikes!
5. Shavasana is pose of total relaxation, the reward for practicing. A calming, mindful pose. Ahhhh.
I let myself relax, go calm, get settled. Until Sandy licks my face!
Apparently I do a very convincing corpse pose.
Or maybe it is simply time for snacks as in “this human relaxation mindfulness practice nonsense has gone on long enough.”
After trying various online yoga instructors, I found one that clicked with me. Not too easy, but not too pretzel-y. The right mix of challenge and comfort. Her videos range in length from 10 minutes to over an hour, so I could choose one for whatever time I have available.
If you are looking for a good place to start, check out YoginiMelbourne.
Copyright © 2020, 2021 Suzanne Grosser