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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Doga Pose 12: Knees to the Chest

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Cooling Down with the Boys
The Knees to the Chest pose is a super relaxing pose that officially begins the cool down of our Doga workout series. There are 3 poses left in the cool down and we'll eventually have a whole video Doga workout.

I have to admit I suddenly realized today that we're on the downside of this project. It has been months in the working, and even though today's video instruction is quite simple and short, the production of this series has been a significant load on my time. That's probably because I've gotten quite into this form of exercise and bonding and am enjoying a regular workout that includes the dogs, right here at home. With Summer just beginning, this is great timing for me. I'm not a fan of the heat we have here in Florida.

I got a kick out of seeing how very focused Nikki B is on Jess in today's video. While Jess is reminding us to take the time for ourselves as well as including our dog, Nikki B is kissing her ears and laying down right against Jess's head. It's clear that Nikki B is quite comfortable with being near Jess, even though some days she has no interest in getting on board. 

I have not invited Oliver to join me for the Knees to Chest pose yet, but as you can see from the above snapshot, they're right here with me, probably enjoying my chatter about who knows what. I don't know what Oliver is sniffing at, but Tanner's attention is clearly on my voice, or perhaps he's awaiting a hand signal. He's more attentive to hand signals than voice commands. Have you noticed any unique signatures such as this in your own dogs as a result of your Doga practice? I think I'll continue to see things like this peek out. I'll keep you posted.

One last comment on the knees to chest pose that may have seemed minor in the video: The rocking back and forth with your hips feels great and helps to draw circulation to the digestive area. I've read that this can aid in healthier digestion. Could this be a yogi's version of Activia? If nothing else, I found it to feel great as my hips rolled right and then left, on the padding of the yoga mat. Try it!

Enjoy the video and don't forget to join us next week when we continue the cool down with the Legs Up the Wall. This is an unbelievably relaxing pose that energizes in a different way from the poses that require strength and stability, such as Warrior II. See you next week for this favorite of mine for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

About the time we were producing this pose video, I began to recognize some of the places that I was holding tension in my body. It did take a while of regular practice to begin to notice these tense spots, but once I did, it opened the door to tremendous improvement. I was able to tighten and release these muscles, allowing for even greater relaxation. Here's what Yoga Journal has to say on this:
As you practice yoga, you begin to notice where you hold tension: It might be in your tongue, your eyes, or the muscles of your face and neck. If you simply tune in, you may be able to release some tension in the tongue and eyes. With bigger muscles like the quadriceps, trapezius and buttocks, it may take years of practice to learn how to relax them.
Our first 11 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 where you can share your questions, thoughts and ideas on the poses and incorporating your dog. I'd love to hear from you!
If you're like me and you just can't get enough of this stuff, check out my Doga Pinterest Board for photos of all sorts of dogs, people and their interesting versions of various poses. Some are good for a great laugh and others will help you determine how to use your dog in your practice. Enjoy and .... 


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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 more relaxing pose for you.


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