Saturday, November 22, 2014

Adapting Your Knees-to-Chest Doga

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

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Finally we're cooling down with the Knees to Chest pose, while still making sure we don't overdo. It's always good to view the short video instruction at the link, to assure that you follow Jess's simple tips for each pose. Links to all the Doga videos may be found here. 

Whether you're able to bring your knees toward your chest at all, or can place them atop your chest, either is right as long as you're feeling good while you do it. This gentle stretch should awaken and relax the glutes and hamstrings, while flattening the lower back against the mat for a nice rest after your practice. If you find it stressful to remove your feet from the mat, try resting them on the seat bottom of a chair for the simplest of moves in the right direction.

Relaxing Into a Snug Ball
After you invite your dogs to join you, enjoy a few breaths to truly rest your core once you have pulled your knees in as far as they can comfortably go. Pay attention to your body's messages, watching for progress each time you practice this pose. Pssst....the more you relax, the more your dogs will enjoy participating. :)

I rarely close my eyes during yoga, but during these poses that position my head and body completely on the floor, I can do this without worry of dizziness. It feels so refreshing and relaxing to focus on how each part of my body has reacted to a practice when I take this time for myself.

Tanner and Oliver often get curious when my eyes are closed and I'm not speaking to them. Suddenly I'll feel a nose tickle or a soft sniff at my cheek or hands as Tanner tries to figure out what I'm up to. 

Oliver's reaction is very different. Because he is a Medical Alert dog for me, his immediate assumption is that he I may have needed an alert. After all, I'm on the ground! His sniff of choice at these moments is always to check on the scent eminating from an orifice--usually ears, nose or mouth. He assesses my situation and then when nothings appears to be amiss, he returns to watch me from his position nearby. I hope that these positive experiences are continuing to build his confidence that yoga is a good thing for me, as well as for him. We continue to form a stronger bond with each practice.

Join us again for the Weekly Wag each Saturday, when I share tips and inspiration on bonding more deeply with your dog. Sometimes these posts involve Doga, while others may take us in a very different direction. Got an idea you'd like me to explore in our Weekly Wag? I'd love to hear from you. The comment link is always open!


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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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