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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Doga Pose 6: Forward Fold with Fido

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Doga Time with the Dogs
This week's Doga pose is definitely not for everyone. It feels great when you begin to progress, but at first you may need to take it slowly, using a chair to ease yourself lower with each exhale. I've been amazed to see how an exhale actually gives you noticeably deeper movement into a stretch. There is so much to learn!

As you progress deeper into this stretch, use this opportunity to reach out to your dogs. Tanner joined me at the mat and remained focused as I quietly continued to go lower and lower. Oliver, as you can see, was busy watching the camera set up on a tripod in auto mode. I think the clicking grabs his attention, but it doesn't work that way when I bring out his favorite treats, Organix Jerky Chip Cookies. My bad for simply grabbing any treat jar. The treats in this jar didn't have the same allure.

Jess and Nikki B Share a Mutual Gaze
As you can see, there are different ways to position your arms. Jess will demonstrate some of these in the video. A chair is also useful when you're tighter in the hamstrings. Keep in mind that Doga and Yoga are not a destination, but rather a journey of body, mind and spirit. Encourage yourself to relax and focus on your breath and your dog. 

Just like me, most of you and your dogs will not be ready to load even a pint-sized pup onto your back for this pose. It is fun, though to see how Jess and Nikki B work through this. Nikki B knows her comfort level and Jess reads it fairly well. You should do the same, whether you're petting your larger dog on the mat or trying a more challenging lift.

Now that I mention it, I should have tried holding Oliver in my cradled arms above. I'll put that on my list of things to experiment with going forward. What are you working on? I'd love to hear your successes and your challenges. Feel free to share.

If you'd prefer to chat about Doga experiences and get more motivation from our small group of practitioners, please join us at our Facebook page for All Things Doga. We're just getting going there, but have posted some of the earlier videos and some inspirational quotes, with more to come. Now it's time to hear from you!

Our first five poses, published earlier, are at the following links, as well as at our dedicated Doga page. We hope you enjoy following along and that you'll offer your comments and ideas for incorporating your dogs easily and safely into your practice, either here or at our Facebook page where we can all support one another. The comment link is always open at the bottom of my posts.


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If you're new to Doga or Yoga, please be sure to do these three things: (1) Get your doctor's permission to start this or any other workout, (2) Check with your vet to make sure your dog is able to participate in simple Doga exercises safely, and (3) visit our introductory post where I've outlined a few tips that will help your experience go more smoothly and enjoyable. Keep in mind that you can always stop if a pose is uncomfortable, returning to a relaxing pose.


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