Yoga is a very individual practice, but who says you can not share this practice with lovely company, like your PET!
Humans have the ability to create a deep connection with animals. Being in touch with them helps us feel happier, be more empathetic and become more compassionate. All those things have benefits on our health. Interactions with our animal friends increase serotonin, reduces stress and it is therapeutic. Caring for a pet can be a very gratifying experience.
What happens when we combine the love we have for our pets and the power of a yoga practice? Recently, several varieties of yoga have done just that: goat yoga, cat yoga, doga, etc. Let’s take a look at some of these pet-friendly yoga practices so we can bring them into our own lives!
Goat yoga: Though not as common as dogs and cats, some people have goats as pets, right? But if you do not have one and still want to try yoga surrounded by goats, don´t worry! Some places have already developed goat yoga classes with cute little goats. The goats are free to do just what goats do: wander, climb, vocalize, and graze. So it if you are in upward dog pose and a little goat climbs over your back, don´t be surprised! Just smile enjoy it!
Cat Yoga: There are some adoption shelters that have yoga classes with cats! It’s a great way to make a connection with a new owner or convince someone to adopt a new kitty. But if you already have a cat or two, (or three…) you can practice cat yoga in you own house. They love to play with your hair if it’s long. They play with your toes, your clothes, and climb on your back. Maybe you can have a toy for them right beside you if you only want to feel their companionship. Kittens are extremely cute, plus cats can create a very calming sensation, so you definitely should try it! Cat on the Mat!
Doga or Yoga with your Dog: If you are a dog person, you already know your best furry friends love to play, but also love to cuddle. So it is a beautiful experience to practice yoga with your dog. Some of them might also try to imitate your movements or actually learn some asanas and recognize “yoga time” when you roll out your mat.
You can try some poses by picking your dogs up in the postures. You could try to do some partner yoga poses with them, or just pet them. Dogs are sometimes unpredictable, so beware – you may be in the deepest savasana and Rover will lick your face, crawl on top of you and chill. It is a very present and mindful practice. You will be smiling, laughing, or talking to the dog and just going with the flow. You will really be in the present and trying at the same time to concentrate on your posture. So the next time you go for your mat, invite your pup!
Horse Yoga: Yep! That´s right! If you have a horse, you can practice yoga together. This particular practice was originally created to improve core stability, balance, and of course to create a bond between owner and horse. You need to be very careful and mindful about your movements to avoid injury. There are some places where you can practice yoga with horses that are used to interacting with different people. But, you need to sure the personnel are professional and trained in yoga AND in horse safety!
Obviously, there are many ways to make your class a fun and beautiful experience in the company of the most tender creatures, our pets!!! With animals, you never know what might happen!