Share the Good Vibes and Your Mat with Pet Yoga
Everyone can agree that exercise in all forms is a good thing, regardless of one’s shape, size, age, gender, or species. When pets and people work out together, a sort of magic happens. The bond between them is almost tangible when walking, hiking, playing, or swimming, but it’s also common during a pet yoga session. The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital can see why pet yoga is taking off!
Let’s take a closer look.
It is well documented that physical exercise is important to support the body’s functions, but there is no match for the direct impact on mental health and well-being. Indeed, we all feel better, more relaxed, or rejuvenated after a workout, and so do animals, no matter their age.
The ancient practice of yoga hinges on a central idea: being in the moment. Pets are excellent at being in the moment, and dogs, because they’re pack animals, thrive in moments of union with their pack leader.
When pet owners exercise with their pets, the bond between them strengthens and deepens. And, it’s fun! Like other modalities, the effects of yoga are amazing for the body and mind. Beyond the stretching, deep breathing, and relaxing, pet yoga has the potential to truly seal the emotional and physical connection between pets and their people.
Pet yoga builds trust, improves circulation and range of motion, and can also calm down a hyperactive, stressed, or anxious animal. In this day and age, where a startling majority of pets are overweight or obese, pet yoga is a great option for gentle exercise.
Many yogis incorporate massage into their pet yoga sessions. This may center a pet and get them to a point of trust and willingness to experience yoga poses. We certainly don’t know many pets who dislike a good rub-down, so hopefully your pet will enjoy this opportunity.
Pet yoga is just like regular yoga in that the human practitioner can flow, or move through asanas, just as they would if alone. There is not a pose out there that a yogi cannot do because their pet is on the mat with them. Simply scoop your pet up and hold them as weight resistance, or encourage them to get into the pose alongside you.
The connection between animals and yoga goes back centuries. The following yoga poses were inspired by the actions or anatomy of the animals they are named after:
- Downward/Upward-Facing Dog
The Best Part
The trend of pet yoga is growing fast, and it’s not that difficult anymore to find a class in neighboring towns. Many animal organizations hold puppy or kitten yoga classes where you can attend a practice and adopt a sweet pet afterwards. Likewise, studios offer classes that you can bring your very own pet to (provided they’re trained and properly socialized).
The best part about pet yoga? You and your best bud can practice it at home, or anywhere else for that matter. All you need is each other.
As always, when it comes to your pet’s health, wellness, and happiness, The Pet Experts are here for you. Namaste!
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