Every “Body” is Doing it… Should You Try Pet Yoga?
There aren’t many exercises you and your pet can do together. Sure, you can walk, run, swim, or hike with your dog, but could other physical activities – like fetch or laser chaser – also be mutually beneficial? You might get a kick out of it, and it could help you blow off some steam, but aside from the fun factor, your pet is probably the only one getting exercise.
Pet yoga, on the other hand, benefits both owners and animals – and The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center know first hand how relaxing it is!
Unroll That Mat
The essence of yoga is rhythmic breathing paired with various stretches and poses. Designed for the alignment of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, yoga originated in India and is now practiced all over the world.
People have been flowing from one asana (pose) to another alongside animals for centuries. In fact, many common asanas were actually inspired by the actions or anatomies of animals, such as:
- Dog (downward and upward-facing)
- And many more!
Connect the Dots
Pet yoga includes the individual practice of a person while in the presence of animals. Known widely to involve goats or horses, pet yoga typically centers on cats and dogs (but all animals can be part of this experience if they’re willing).
One or Both
Pet yoga can be practiced in two ways:
- One can move through their asanas while simply in the same area as animals. This means your pet may or may not be interested in what’s happening on the mat. Essentially, it’s about sharing space.
- You could also physically incorporate an animal into your poses. One can flow between standing and sitting poses while employing a pet’s weight as resistance or you could actually move them through the poses themselves. Some pets don’t mind participating in this way, but before you start lifting your pet and holding them in different positions, check in with their general level of acceptance.
In the Moment
One of the reasons pet yoga is so fun is because animals are so good at reminding us to stay in the moment. Perfectly poised between action and reaction, pets reflect living spontaneously, and we could all use a little more of this in our lives.
The People-Pet Yoga Connection
Our sister hospital, Elmhurst Animal Care Center, is promoting the concept of pet yoga. If you haven’t already, check out their commitment to pet adoption through pet yoga.
A wonderful way to relax, adding pets to yoga is one sure way to make this already wonderful experience even more enjoyable. The Pet Experts want to know what you think. Do you love pet yoga as much as we do? Let us know on our Facebook page!
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