I Tried To Do Yoga With My Dog And It Wasn't A Total Fail
Chloe, my pomeranian-chihuahua mix, didn't want to raise her back legs. I was trying to train her for our dog yoga shoot the following morning, and all she wanted to do was cuddle on my lap and watch “House of Cards."
“Chlo-Chlo, please,” I begged. “I'll give you a treat, come on."
I tried lifting her back legs again into a doggy headstand of sorts, only to have her scramble away. Whatever, no treat for Chloe.
Dog yoga — or doga, as it's more commonly known — is the art of practicing yoga with your dog. This is meant to help deepen the bond between you and your pooch. Your pup is supposed to help you through your asanas, while getting more centered themselves. It's a win-win, right?
At first, I planned on bringing Chloe to a doga class offered at a local shelter, but Chloe isn't really a fan of other dogs. Instead, we opted for a DIY situation and researched poses that worked for us.
Doga doesn't discriminate against breeds or size. There are certain poses you can do with larger dogs and others with smaller ones. Chloe is a 12-pound pup, so I mainly used her as a weight and a prop. I don't think she minded much.
Whether you want to bond with your pooch or just want to incorporate him or her into your daily sun salutation, here's how to get your doga on.
First, align your energies.
Seeing as Chloe doesn't know how to speak yet, we couldn't quite get our “om” on. Instead, we pressed foreheads to sync up our energies.
Chloe was a fan of this. I think.
Next, we tried doggy sun salutation.
I tried getting Chloe into literal downward-facing dog, but she was not about that life at all. Instead, we amended both the upward and downward dog into Chloe-friendly poses.
First, I got into easy pose, which is essentially just sitting cross-legged with your back straight. I propped Chloe's front paws against my chest and held them there. The propping was meant to help keep my back straight and my posture on point.
Next, I got her into down dog. This was the pose we were trying to practice earlier last night, to no avail.
Luckily for me, Chloe was a bit more into it than she was earlier. All I did was lift her back legs gently to give her a good stretch and get her blood flowing.
Up next was triangle pose.
To start off, I placed both feet about hip's width apart. Next, I picked my dog up with one arm and cradled her against my hip while I extended my free arm from my shoulder down to my ankle.
Doggie triangle! This was a pretty good stretch, except for the fact that I was convinced Chloe would face plant on my foot and hate me forever (she didn't).
To be fair, I'm pretty sure Chloe hated this pose. Being lugged around isn't really her style.
Then, we got into low lunge, AKA "Circle of Life" pose.
I have always wanted to do this ever since I saw "Lion King," and it finally happened.
After getting into a low lunge (or in my case, medium lunge as my knees suck and that's the most I could do) I picked up Chloe and lifted her in the air like Rafiki raising Simba to gaze down on his kingdom.
Chloe was pretty down with this. I always knew she was a queen at heart, but this just proved it.
Coming up was plank.
I always have a hard time with plank pose because my back likes to arch. Chloe prevented that.
After getting into the pose, my coworker Niki helped place Chloe on my lower back. This was harder than it looks because Chloe is a diva and hates sitting in one place for more than a nanosecond. In one take, she even fell off my back in the most spectacular fashion.
This pose is meant to strengthen my core. Also, I just think it's funny for Chloe to use me as a table.
Lastly, we tried child's pose.
After the very long, extremely difficult workout we had, it was finally time to relax.
Child's pose is meant to stretch out your arms, shoulders and back. All you have to do is bend your knees under you and extend your arms over your head. Niki then placed Chloe on my back to help deepen my stretch by getting my back closer to the ground.
By this point, Chloe was a natural. She looked over her yoga mat kingdom and appraised its value before deciding to lie the down on my back like, “Nope, you only get up when I tell you to."
The verdict: Chloe was only into the poses where she got to lick my face or threaten me with peeing on my back. I don't think we've ever been closer.