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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Doga Pose 11: Child's Pose with a Pooch

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Oliver Did It--Onboard Action!
Today's Child's Pose photo has been a long time in the coming. Oliver wasn't too sure this was his bag, but he did finally decide it was worth a shot, if only briefly. That's okay; I'm just glad he trusted me enough to give it a brief test. Go Oliver!

During the same workout, Patches also joined in, bringing along her typical kitty curiosity. She didn't stay long, but did make an appearance that allowed the camera to snap this shot:

Patches Makes an Appearance!
Some days things just click. Others not so much. The day these pics were taken we were on a roll!

Let's talk a little bit more about the Child's Pose. This is my favorite pose so far in our series, and one that I think many of you will soon find brings you a great deal of peace. I love coming down to the level of the dogs and especially enjoy their companionship as I focus on my breath and try to get into paying note of all my muscles that are relaxing and showing relief from this wonderfully exhilarating pose.

You'll find that the various methods of elevating the level of the floor are outstanding for making the pose work just right for your personal level of flexibility, so try each in order to get the best method for you today and going forward:
  • A blanket under the booty eases the stretch in the knees, glutes and lower back.
  • Use a block under the head, remembering that each position of the block will offer a different stretch, allowing for more or less lowering toward the mat. Try them all to see which is best for you today.
  • For additional comfort, you may find that curling the toes toward the middle will help to cradle your sitting bones, giving additional cushion to this area.

My readings in the Yoga Journal have continued and I found this passage that is a nice reminder that we need to focus on our muscles and our breath as we practice, watching for the areas that are retaining tightness, and relaxing into these areas as we exhale. That deep exhale has amazing properties to loosen us up. Check this out:
Some advanced yogis can control their bodies in extraordinary ways, many of which are mediated by the nervous system. Scientists have monitored yogis who could induce unusual heart rhythms, generate specific brain-wave patterns, and, using a meditation technique, raise the temperature of their hands by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If they can use yoga to do that, perhaps you could learn to improve blood flow...
Our first 10 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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