If you sit back and think about your first yoga class, it was probably new and interesting and a surprisingly helpful way to help you connect with yourself and the energy around you. Fast forward a few years and it’s possible yoga, though still stress relieving and healthy, isn’t as fascinating as it was when you first started. Well, maybe you need a new yoga partner. How about your dog? We know what you’re thinking, “I can’t get my dog to roll over. How am I going to get him to do yoga?” But it’s not like that. As Ana Bustillos, manager of guest experience at the Exhale spa in Miami’s Epic hotel, explains, “What’s really going on in ‘doga’ is a person doing yoga and sharing that energy with their dog.” Available upon request at Exhale, doga, or dog yoga, involves the person doing poses that engage the dog. It also incorporates a little massage therapy for the dog, where an instructor shows specific therapeutic pressure points to focus on. The low-intensity class is similar to Hatha yoga. With small dogs, you can even lift them into some of the poses like a sun salutation. “It’s all about the connection between the dog and the owner,” Bustillos says. “It really strengthens the bond between them.” Plus, you might pass on some of your stress relief to your dog. “You might see a dog come in hyper, but 10 minutes into the class, you see them calm down and look around and react to the energy,” Bustillos says.
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