Yoga has ceased to be an exclusive practice for people to expand into the animal field: now it is possible to see on social networks dogs and cats doing all kinds of asana, together with their owners, in a new aspect of yoga called doga ( dog + yoga). Her ideologist, Suzi Teitelman, believes that dogs seem to be specially designed for this activity for their "unconditional love, ability to live the present and patience."
According to Patricia Guerrero, founder of PAT Educadora Canina and doga instructor in Barcelona -with the approval of Teitelman-, doga "consists of combining massage techniques for dogs with yoga postures and relaxation, no strange postures." age, size or race of the dog or cat, "as long as we control at all times that we do not hurt him and that he feels pleasure with the activity. The main thing is that everyone enjoys their rhythm, without forcing, "says Guerrero.
Doga sessions are usually divided into four parts: first, pets are allowed to 'sob' by means of massage and gentle stretching. This helps connect with our dog or cat, improving their confidence in us. Once relaxed, it is time for yoga postures, in some the protagonist is the animal and in others, the person. The objective is that both the hairy person and the person progressively share this discipline. The third part includes basic stretches so that the dogs do not feel discomfort, since they also suffer injuries, contractures and stiffness. Finally, the favorite part of the audience arrives: the one of total relaxation. This consists of stretching with the pet, listening to quiet music, closing the eyes and caressing it, while the trainer recites a Zen story.
"The profile of people who come to doga is that of people who have a special relationship and an important bond with their dog," and their benefits, Guerrero adds, are multiple: to socialize our dog with other dogs and people in a calm manner; teach them to enjoy caresses; connect with our dog and, thus, strengthen the bond with the animal; improve the circulation and flexibility of the dog, and relax the muscles.
Like all disciplines, it is something that takes time and that there is to practice with regularity, perseverance, patience and a lot of affection. The ideal, according to Patricia Guerrero, is "to start at home and do it a few minutes each day, in this way, our dog will end up relating the mat with relaxation, and we will enjoy more of the joint activity". For those who are curious and want to practice with their pets, there are the tutorials 'CatOmm' and 'DogOmm', through which we will be able to learn how to relax with our cat or dog, and recharge the batteries after the stress of a long day.