When you’re doing yoga at home, it can be fun to incorporate your dog.
Or… if your dog is like Binky, he may invite himself into the session.
Instead of pushing them out of the way, find a way to incorporate them into your practice. This could be a simple pet or a choreographed set of tricks with treats as a reward.
This post contains some fun ideas you can try out and modify to suit you and your dog. I should also warn that the majority of these are ideal for small or medium dogs. If you have a big dog, you can always have him do tricks by your side.
This yoga pose sequence combines a lot of love, dog tricks and dog talent.
8 Dog Yoga Poses
If you want to do yoga with your dog, these pictures should provide a few ideas. But first, here are some tips on how to modify the sequence to your preference.
- Modify poses. Flexibility comes with a lot of time and practice, don’t overextend yourself. Modify the pose to your flexibility level and increase it over time.
- Modify dog tricks. To be honest, Binky just does a lot of these tricks without command because he loves attention and he knows he gets treats when he’s cute. However, he does respond to commands for tricks he knows while I’m doing yoga. In this routine, he uses the tricks come, sit, up and, most importantly, stay. You can use the tricks your dog knows 🙂
- Treats. Dogs need rewards to know they’re doing well. You can use small training treats to ensure you’re not overfeeding them if getting several per session. Treats are definitely the most motivating factor for my pup.
#1 Loving Stare
Okay, I made this one up. But before you begin with your dog, take a moment to just stare at them and connect for a second. They’ll probably start to wag their tail or get excited… they just love to be noticed! You can also give them a treat as a sneak peek of the rewards available in the dogya routine to come.
Downward Dog Kiss
The Position: To do get into downward dog, sit on your knees with your wrists below your shoulders. Curl your toes under and using your hands, extending and straighten your legs. Rotate your shoulder blades away from your ears and let your head hang.
To Do the Yoga Pose with Your Dog: Call him near when you’re in your pose. You can lift one arm to point to the place on the floor you want him to stand. Then, ask him to stay. When you’re out of the position, reward him with a treat.
Levitating Dog AKA Warrior III
The Position: To get into warrior III, bend into a 90-degree angle, keeping your back straight. Slightly bend one leg while lifting the other up in line with your back.
To Do the Yoga Pose with Your Dog: Before you get into the position, ask him to sit in front of you. Ask him to stay. Get into Warrior III, then use the command “up” (or whatever your word is for that trick) to get him to rise up. Extend your hands forward below your dog. The effect? A levitating pup.
Boat Pose with Dog
The Position: To get into boat pose, sit on the floor with your knees bent in front of you and your hands by your side. Keep a straight spine while slightly leaning back and extending your legs.
To do the Yoga Pose with Your Dog: Start with your dog sitting on your lap while your knees are bent on the floor, then get into boat pose. Alternatively, have your dog by your side and lift him up after you get into boat position. Either way, the added weight can pose an extra challenge depending on your dog’s size. If it’s too much, you can always have your dog sit and stay or dog another trick by your side.
Plank with Dog
The Position: To get into plank position, get into a pushup position and straighten your warm, pushing yourself upward. Keep your body aligned in a straight line and hold.
To do the Yoga Pose with Your Dog: Have your dog sit to the side and ask him to stay. Have a treat laid out in front of him to keep his attention and keep him in the position. Then get into plank.
The Position: Once plank as described in the yoga position above. Then slowly walk your hands out a few small steps. I’m doing it over a sofa, but you can also do it on the floor.
To Do the Yoga Pose with Your Dog: Position a treat between where your feet will be and make sure your dog can see it’s there. Then, ask your dog to come between where your hands will be. Ask your dog to sit and stay. Then, get into extended plank.
Middle Split Stretch with Dog
The Position: For a more advanced position, slide into middle splits but keep your hands pushing up front of you. If you’re working on this, an easier alternative would be the frog pose.
How to Do with Your Dog: Get your dog to fit in front of you and ask him to stay, then get into your position.
Front Split or Half Split with Dog
The Position: Doing the front splits usually involves practicing a set of stretches, increasing flexibility over time. A good alternative is the half split. To do a half split, start in a front lunge position. Then, bring your hips back to straighten your front leg.
To Do the Pose with Your Dog: Get into the front splits or half splits. Ask your dog to come and sit in front of you. Ask him to stay for the duration. of your stretch.