Saturday, August 30, 2014

#Doga Bonding with No Hands

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

Upward Dog Bonding w/text photo UpwardDogCollageTEXT_zpsea8c3d93.jpg
While working in the Cobra and Upward Facing Dog poses, you'll soon find that reaching out to bond with your dog takes a bit of creativity. Besides setting a treat jar on the corner of the mat, I make use of my voice, eye contact and smooches. Asking for a "watch me" in conjunction with your dog's name quickly gets their attention on you when your hands are busy supporting your body.

I guess I started this post a bit backwards--bonding first. Now let's address the position. First and foremost, do not press yourself completely up into the Upward Facing Dog position until you are strong enough to hold your weight and your back doesn't scream "Help!" Some of you will find this position easy, while others may find their back is not so accommodating. We're each unique in our areas of flexibility and strength. You'll need to embrace this and keep on moving forward.
Cobra Pose

If you're among those that find this position out of the question, stick to working in the Cobra position by using the original video post and last week's modifications. There's really no reason to go beyond Cobra if you're not comfortable.

For those of you who find you're able to stretch further upward, take it slow. Keep your gaze forward for now. We'll wait to stretch our heads up and back till when we're all a bit more limber. If you're able to straighten your arms, keep in mind that you'll want to stack your joints--shoulders over elbows over wrists. 

You'll find grounding of this position in your ankles and feet and your hands, where
pressure into the floor will allow you to balance and stretch your chest out and up. If this doesn't feel good, drop back down to the Cobra position and focus on each of your body parts, checking in for grounding there. Balance can be a factor in your comfort level.

When you're ready to work on other poses, you'll find the whole list of #doga videos here. Prepare to get your pup involved more as we progress into poses that have more and more options. I'll be back soon with some variations on the rest of the poses in our All Things Dog Blog Doga series here at the Weekly Wag, our Saturday bonding inspiration. 


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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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