If you’re a dog person and a yogi, puppy yoga is the thing for you. However, if you’re a yogi who doesn’t love dogs, here’s your chance to convert. Sign up for puppy yoga classes in New York City, and you’ll become a believer.
Yoga with dogs, or rather “doga” is a recent addition to the fitness world. At FitEngine, we love a social exercise routine, but we especially adore a flexibility workout served with a healthy dose of fluff. The fitness world has seen its fair share of trends, as outlined in this blog post, but we’re pretty sure that doga is here to stay.
So what makes puppy yoga so much more special than regular yoga? If you ask a yogi, they’ll surely rattle off about all the benefits of regular workout yoga classes. Cute as they are, are the pad-footed yoga mates necessary?
However, when it comes to puppy yoga, you don’t need a comprehensive comparison between benefits; you need an understanding of the added benefits.
Dogs Have A Magical Effect On Stress
Petting a dog has been found to lower cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the body. That means that while the source of your anxiety will remain unchanged, the physical effects of stress will be limited in the presence of paws. Things like a racing heart and nervous sweats could be traded for canine cuddles of the highest quality. Dogs also accelerate the production of oxytocin (the happy hormone), which, not surprisingly, is the same hormone that is produced when parents see their children. The effect is so potent that dogs have been used to treat patients experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder resulting in lowered medications and improved health.
So now think of your stretch and restore yoga class. The goal isn’t just fitness. It’s also reaching a peaceful meditative state and focusing completely on your body, which is why yoga is closely aligned with mindful practices.
When you add a dog into the mix, you’re tacking on health benefits and adding a challenge as a distraction.
Their Presence Lowers Blood Pressure
The regulatory effects on hormones also keep your blood pressure in check. This means that doga might be more meditative than regular Pilates and yoga classes.
We’re all familiar with the struggle of watching the clock tick closer and closer to our fitness classes without the slightest motivation to get up and throw on our yoga clothes. Like pet owners who will do whatever it takes to avoid letting their dog miss their favorite activity of the day (walkies), you’ll surely be incentivized by the pawsibility of puppy hugs.
They Heal Your Heart (Literally)
Dogs have been endorsed by The American Heart Association. It’s been shown in their research that regularly being around a beloved pooch is a preventive measure against cardiovascular disease and gives you a longer life. Many do yoga to boost circulation and heart health. So go all the way by signing up for dog-friendly stretching classes in Tribeca.
They Ease Loneliness And Depression
Studies show that pet parents have higher self-esteem and that the company of animals does more to combat the effects of depression than human company. This could be partly because, unlike a human friend, a four-legged friend brings the social element and an added sense of purpose. Also, people with social anxiety who have difficulty approaching other people can easily interact with animals without exacerbating their symptoms.
They’re The Ultimate Hack For Introverts
As mentioned above, starting conversations with new people can be challenging for some. Well, then meet the best ice breaker ever: a pet. If you sign up for a class that lets you bring in your pup, it would be a great way to connect with other dog lovers. Some classes won’t allow owners to bring their animals, but even so, you could bond with other participants over your mutual love of dogs and stretching and mobility.
Doga In The Bigger Picture
Experienced yogis who try yoga with a dog present or even yoga that involves dogs will find similarities to the traditional Hatha yoga. This includes poses for aimed stretching and building strength.
Depending on the type of Doga classes you choose, they might even involve gentle massage for you and the pup. This is meant to build your empathy for the animal and soothe any pain they may be experiencing in their joints or muscles.
FitEngine believes in always pushing harder while respecting the limits of your body. That’s one of the reasons people love the fitness insanity workout in NYC. It’s no easy feat, but your body will thank you!
However, if you’ve mastered yoga, you can do a few things to raise the stakes other than adding animals into the mix. You could blend your workout yoga with somatic movement, get yourself a yoga buddy, or you can try a Pilates yoga crossover.
Since we all know that a guided stretching yoga class or social dance class is better than an at-home workout, use online resources.
This website can help you dance away your troubles with musical workouts or discover new ways to lose weight fast with exercise. The experts make it their business to keep tabs on every New York Pilates academy, so let them help you book the perfect class.
If you’re someone who struggles with motivation, laugh it off with these “fitness funnies” that everyone can relate to.
About the Author
Jules Hart is a passionate yogi who owns a dog grooming service. He attests that he is never sick and credits this to a combination of yoga, somatic movement, and the constant canine company. He doesn’t have a dog of his own, but he does have a twenty-five-year-old, cage-free cockatoo named Hopper. Hopper provides the soundtrack for Hart’s musical workouts, and his favorite phrase is, “is that the best you can do?”