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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Doga Variations: Side Angle Yoga Pose

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

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Are you tagging along on this Doga journey with us? Earlier we posted a series of short instructional doga videos, created especially for All Things Dog Blog Readers. Now we're circling back to share some variations on ways to make the poses a bit more easy. Sometimes we even share a tougher version, but it's all in fun. We want to inspire you to try including your dog in a home workout that will help you both bond more closely.

Today's pose is the Side Angle pose. You'll find the original video yoga instruction here. The classic version is a bit intimidating for some, but the images above show several ways that you can modify your angle to make it easier on your body. Take your time, working a single variations for as many practice sessions as you need, before moving down to a lower modifcation. Yoga should feel good, not hurt!

Add Challenge in Small Increments
If you're already on top of the classic pose, try adding some weight or not using the floor to support yours. I've worked up to using my little 10-pound Oliver as shown at left. Believe me, that small dog feels quite a bit heavier when I hold him like this. It's a great workout for my oblique and ab muscles, especially after I hold him for a few extra breaths.

Since this photo session, I've been able to work my stance lower, continuing to improve my balance and stability, while still holding Oliver. #GottaLuvBonding

Just to be clear, there are still days when I do not feel up to this level of a workout. I often drop back to easier versions when I'm overstressed or tired. Floor poses and inverted ones seem to energize me. 

Join me next week when I'll be sharing some ways to work on your balance with the
Airplane pose. If you don't have a larger dog like Tanner, you can use a chair, wall or dresser to aid your balance. Never fear, I'll also be offering some versions that don't have you lifitng your leg like Fido. ;)

Before I close, here's a list of our variations posts that you may find helpful in modifying your own home practice:

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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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