Ever since I saw the local Doga group dog yoga session here in San Diego, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of dogs and yoga. Heck, even Bo the Presidential dog‘s gotten in on the act.
Now, I watched that Bo video as well as the video of the San Diego ‘doga’ session, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how the heck they got that many dogs to hold that still. I guess having a group of 15 pound dogs helps. In the spirit of adventure, I tried some of the stuff they recommended in that Martha Stewart video with Brody the 70 pound crazy boy, and I got trampled. It was not relaxing at all. So, I gave up on doga.
THEN I gave him a bath.
Little did I realize I had it wrong all along! I couldn’t do doga by forcing Brody to do these positions. Instead, he functions as an exceptional yoga accessory in his very own way, as long as I let him do it on his own terms. For us, doga happens at the bath. Dog Bath Hatha = Datha yoga. You can do it too.
Balancing Stick Pose – Tuladandasana
Attempt to take dog into bathroom for bath. Transfer your weight onto the forward leg, and in one smooth motion, bend over to a 90 degree angle, making a perfect T. Allow your dog’s run for the hills to pull your shoulders into a deep stretch while simultaneously reaching your other leg towards the bathtub in a counterbalance. Breathe.
Fixed Firm Pose- Supta-Vajrasana
Sitting on the floor, hold your wet dog to you while stretching forward towards your toes. Use your dog’s leaning to pull you more into the stretch. Ignore the discomfort of the damp dog smell in your face. Meditate.
Triangle Pose – Trikanasana
Turn your right toes at a 90 degree angle and lean down into your right hip. Bend your right hand down to your dog to keep them from bolting out of the bathroom while reaching your left hand up to the towel that you have conveniently left just out of reach. Reach, reach, reach for the ceiling and the towel. Keep your left hip back and your dog in the tub.
Awkward Pose – Utkatasana
As your dog prepares for “I’m gonna shake all over you” posture (Shakallovastana), gesture in futility. Separate your feet hip width apart and sit back like you’re sitting in a chair, blocking the oncoming onslaught by holding your hands at shoulder height. Put your weight into your heels. Brace.
Half Moon Pose -Ardha-Chandrasana
When your dog starts to shake water droplets and loose hair all over the bathroom, use your lateral abdominal muscles to lean away from the dog. Lean deep to the side, keeping your chin away from the flying hair and your elbows close to your ears. Breathe. Sigh.
Dead Body – Savasana
Collapse on the floor in an exhausted heap while your dog gloats over your corpselike form. Enjoy your meditation.