Saturday, April 12, 2014

Doga Pose 5: Downward Facing Dog

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
I have to wonder what Nikki B. is thinking as she watches Jess upside down. Any ideas? Getting into the mind of a dog would be so much fun. Oliver often looks at me as if to say "Why are you doing all these funny things?" When we cuddle and have a laptop session he performs some pretty funny positions as well, but I don't quite know how to communicate that to him.

Since Nikki B. is relatively new to joining Jess onboard her poses, today's episode will demonstrate how sometimes it's best just to skip that effort and enjoy performing the pose for your own benefit. Fido may be happier about that also. If you and your dog are already Doga experts, we'd sure love to see photos of how you incorporate your pup in any pose that you would like to share. Does your bigger pooch share kisses while you work out?

Enjoy the video, as well as the pose, and be sure to leave a comment with your experiences. Did you find the upside down position to be awakening--that rush of blood to the head--or would your prefer to stick to upright and lateral poses? Enquiring Dogis want to know!

Ahhhh! Now that you've enjoyed that pose, I hope you'll be sure to include it with the first 4 below. Before I go, here's another benefit of yoga that I found in the Yoga Journal:

It's well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, like Doward- and Upward-Facing Dog, help strenthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures. In an unpublished study conducted at California State University, Los Angeles, yoga practice increased bone density in the vertebrae. Yoga's ability to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol may help keep calcium in the bones. (More on cortisol later)
Our first three 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. 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 a yoga 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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