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Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog

Pigeon Pose, Downward Dog Cobra Pose: The Trend in Pet Yoga

Pet YogaYoga is all the rage among the hip and healthy among us, and for good reason. It’s a great way to keep in shape, decrease stress, improve posture and core strength, and gain a sense of peace in a hectic world. From hot yoga to traditional hatha, there are many options for most anyone to choose from, including animal lovers!

Yoga with pets has taken the yoga world by storm after rolling out the first doga (dog yoga) sessions in Barcelona in 1958. Since then, almost every animal imaginable has been invited onto the mat. Pet yoga is definitely a thing, and the Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic is equally enthusiastic about delving into its many benefits!

More than Bending Bodies

Yoga’s central focus is on moving through various poses, some of which are sustained, while others work through poses in a fluid motion. The physical benefits for humans include increased flexibility and strength, increased energy, and weight reduction, but when you can add your best furry friend to the mix, there are some important emotional benefits that come as well.

Spending time with a favorite pet can help reduces stress and anxiety that we carry throughout the day, and this quality time is wonderful for bonding with our animal friends. Dogs, in particular, enjoy this opportunity and can even be taught to perform some of the poses, which can encourage exercise and better mobility for them through stretching.

Even cats and other animals, whose presence is soothing, can provide a therapeutic aspect to the session that helps reduce stress and increase self-esteem and confidence. Animals that have been instrumental in pet yoga are goats, horses, and even chickens!

The Benefits of Pet Yoga

Aside for just enjoying how adorable pets are, there are several good reasons why you should consider yoga with a four-legged friend.

  1. Exercise – Everyone, from big to small, needs to move. When an animal is involved, we’re probably more likely to participate and enjoy the experience, especially if the exercise is something we like to do, such as jogging, walking, or yoga.
  2. Social time – Those who spend time with others who appreciate yoga and their animal friends are much more likely to be engaged and active, and are less likely to experience isolation.
  3. Better mood – How can you not help but feel a little better when you see a pygmy goat on a yoga mat, or your own dog in a downward dog pose? Exercise and spending time with animals can increase your mood!
  4. Encourage kids to exercise – Kids, not just the goat variety, can be encouraged to exercise when animals are involved, and kids who are exposed to pets at a young age are less likely to develop allergies and are much better able to empathize with their peers. Win-win!
  5. Physical and mental health – Being with animals, as well as participating in yoga, has both been linked to blood pressure reduction and better concentration. And, yoga is suitable for all ages and abilities.
  6. Quality time – One of the best things about spending time doing yoga with pets is that they will get the added joy of attention and quality time with you. Pets who are given more opportunities for bonding with their owners are often better socialized, healthier, and happier.

The bonding time, the exercise, the wonderful health and mood benefits…Is there anything better than pet yoga? If you are someone who is still a bit reluctant to take to the mat and say namaste to your dog, we understand. The good news, though, is that exercising with pets is not just relegated to yoga, but there are a wide number of activities that can be suitable for your furry friend, like walking, running, biking with your dog, swimming, and much more!

If you would like some suggestions on how to help you and your pet get more exercise and bonding time, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!