Woman's Best Friend

You love your dog, so why not spoil him rotten? Having a spa day for yourself and your pup is a great way to bond, and keep him healthy and happy.

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Teach an old dog new tricks

Seattle doga instructor and owner of Barking Buddha Doga Brenda Bryan

Humans aren't the only ones who can benefit from yoga, with their own special version of "doga." Seattle doga instructor and owner of Barking Buddha Doga Brenda Bryan shares why doga is a great way to bond with your pooch, as well as how to do her favorite pose.

SheKnows: How does doga work?

Bryan: Doga incorporates our dogs into all aspects of the [yoga] class, through massage, stretching, breathing and being fully present with our doga partners. Since dogs are naturally heart-opening creatures, we can use doga as an activity that opens us up to feeling a deeper connection to our dogs, ourselves and hopefully bring the feeling of a deeper connection to those around us and into the world.

SheKnows: What are the benefits of doga?

Bryan: Besides promoting relaxation and muscle health, doga can deepen the already strong bond we have with them, as well as teach trust and focus. Most dogs do well in doga because they love working with and being with their human.

SheKnows: What's your favorite doga pose?

Bryan: There are so many, but this is how to do the wheelbarrow pose:

  1. Stand behind your dog with your feet hip-distance apart. Lift your chest and extend your tailbone to make your back flat like a tabletop. You'll be in a half-forward bend, or "half-uptail," as we call it in doga. Lift your shoulders up and back slightly so you feel a nice opening of the back and shoulders. You can also lift your leg bones up and back so you get a gentle opening of the hamstrings. Now it's time to bring our dog into the pose.
  2. Place your hands on your dog's back haunches and make gentle circles with your hands to begin loosening the hips. If you are able to lift your dog, reach under the hip creases and lift, placing the back paws on the front of your legs (my dog Gus will press his paws into my legs to enhance the stretch of his spine). Mind your back! Engage your core and micro-bend your knees to protect your low back. If your dog is too heavy to lift or has any physical issue that may prevent stability in this pose, then simply massage the hips. They will benefit from the hip massage even without the abdominal stretch the lift provides.

More ways to pamper your pooch

Eco-friendly pets: Green pet pampering
Grooming tips for stylish dogs and cats
7 Ways to bond with your pet

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