​From Yoga to Doga

By Gaby Dufresne-Cyr, CBT
The shift from yoga to doga was inevitable and if you stop for a moment to think about it, most asanas come from the animal world: upward dog, downward dog, cat, cow, fish, cobra, etc. Doga has been around for many years in the United States, and many people claim to have "invented" the human-dog practice. The doga practice we have established at the Dogue Shop was a natural and original approach meant to change your philosophy about dogs. 
Yoga is a philosophy, not an exercise routine. According to Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga, the asana practice, or poses, is one part of the enlightenment process. We developed doga based on the philosophy, not the poses. Our doga practice focuses on doing asanas with your dog as a routine, not as an accessory. The doga approach we teach involves breathing, self-awareness, poses, respect, control of the senses, and concentration. We even guide students through a meditation in the presence of dogs.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga
Yama :  Universal morality
Niyama :  Personal observances
Asanas :  Body postures
Pranayama :  Breathing exercises, and control of prana
Pratyahara :  Control of the senses
Dharana :  Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
Dhyana :  Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
Samadhi :  Union with the Divine

A New Vision 
Because the Dogue Shop likes to Think Outside the Box, we did not want to place dogs in strange positions, nor did we want to exclude certain breeds based on their size. Doga is really about developing and deepening the human-dog relationship based on social cognitive theory. The connection deepens the relationship and the relationship deepens the ability to work and solve problems in a secure and relaxed environment. 
The topic of social cognitive theory was discussed in Reinforce Resilience. In the article, we discussed how to reinforce resilience through a different approach. Doga is the ultimate training practice in which a person learns to teach, bond, enjoy, and share an activity meant to keep both participants in the present moment. Doga, just like yoga, is a philosophy. Furthermore, doga is a low impact training practice available to all. It can be practiced inside or out, and will certainly make participants laugh.

We encourages you to try doga and start doing yoga with your dog, but most of all we encourage people to try and see their human-dog relationships in a new way. Canis Familirais has been our working partner for hundreds of years, maybe it's time to step back and acknowledge that, although times have changed, we can still work with them in new creative ways. Give your dog a job. Give your dog a doga job.


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