Dog-a: Welcoming Your Pet into your Practice

If your dog is anything like mine, maintaining your home yoga practice is probably challenging! I don’t know what it is, but Pepe has to have at least one paw touching mommy’s yoga mat at all times. As my practice progresses, that one paw creeps into two and then eventually Pep’s completely on my mat & I’m somehow on the floor. Sound familiar? It would be easy to get frustrated at the intrusion when you’re in the mood for zen, but instead why not just incorporate a little dog-a into your practice that day? There’s nothing like having to work around our pets that breaks our yoga samskaras (habits)!

Here are my favorite dog-a friendly poses:

Downward facing dog & Upward facing dog

In addition to the amusing wordplay, these foundation poses bring your face close to the ground & therefore, in primo dog licking range! It seems like every time I get within Pepe’s space, he just can’t help but to say hello. And avoiding his licks reminds me to pull my Updog forward and up, really breathing into the backbend!

Wide stance poses: Triangle, Reverse Warrior, etc.

Pepe’s safe space has always been standing between his favorite humans’ legs. In the same way that a weighted blanket calms me, he feels secure & comfortable with the pressure of legs gripping his sides. Of course, it also helps that the closer he stands to mommy the better chance he has of receiving butt scratches. Pepe almost always dives under me any time I lunge or take a wide-legged pose, so instead of fruitlessly attempting to shoo him off of my mat, I embrace and allow his energy to ground me. While I’m reaching up toward the sky, his calm, safe energy keeps me rooted to the earth. 

Tabletop poses: Cat, Tiger, etc.

Remember that primo dog licking range I mentioned? Fair warning: tabletop poses put your face directly in the bullseye! These poses are some of my favorite to do with Pepe because I can feel the love radiating from him when I get on his level. He absolutely loves when I sit on the floor or lay down with him and sharing his perspective makes me feel extra close to and appreciative of him! If you can spare a hand here, tabletop poses offer ample opportunity for mid-practice belly scratches!

Seated poses: Lotus, Half Lotus or Legs Crossed

Always end your dog-a practice with a seated pose to really amplify your connection with your pet! In lotus, my lap acts as a nice comfortable pillow for Pepe to rest his head on & in my closing moments of gratitude, I always thank the universe for bringing this big ball of fur into my life.

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