The Benefits of Doing Yoga With Your Dog

21st June 2022

Guest Blog: Kat Farrants

A very interesting article from Kat, a lifelong yoga practitioner and breeder of Australian Shepherds, talks about the joy both yoga and dogs bring to our lives. Read on to learn more.

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Is It Time for Dog Yoga?

I’m a lifelong yoga practitioner. Yoga has literally seen me through the challenges of life, from the utter heartbreak and desolation of divorce and bereavement, through the pain and challenge of immobility of a car crash. Without a yoga practice, I have no idea how I’d have survived, let alone thrived through life’s massive ups and downs, or, as Buddhists say, life’s one thousand joys and sorrows. Life really can be a rollercoaster, and the last few years have taught us all that. Change is inevitable, loss and transformation are a part of life as are birth and joy.

How on earth do we cope with these challenges in life? Well, for me, learning conscious breathwork and movement, combined with meditation has really helped me to stay grounded and contented. It has helped me to respond rather than react to difficult circumstances. Clearly it’s all a life practice and every day I’m still practicing, but I really have no idea how I’d learn to deal equanimously with life’s challenges without my yoga practice. So much so, that I felt compelled to start my own online yoga business, which has been running for nearly 10 years.

But as all dog owners will know, there’s nothing that can cheer us up on a difficult day, like our dogs can. Dogs are always pleased to see us, live in the moment, live a life full of optimism and joy and live to connect with us, their pack. Dogs are the perfect life teachers, and they are the perfect yoga teachers. Dogs can teach us so well, how to live in the now and enjoy each precious moment of our lives. Although my yoga teachers are the very best in the world, there is no teacher better than my own Australian Shepherds. My Aussies stay curious, stay positive, never bear a grudge, always think that movement is the answer, shake off disappointment, stay playful and most of all, just live for connection. They take deep breaths,

We Can Learn From Our Dogs

This is why I really can’t understand why people want to teach their dogs yoga!! It should definitely be the other way around. Dogs have so much to teach us, and I find it a little insulting to dog’s superior sense of mindfulness that we think that we could possibly teach them in this area!! I’m not saying that I don’t do fitness work with my dogs, which I do every day, I work on their core strength and their mobility, so that they can compete at the top level dog sports. But yoga is a practice of union, a practice in which we learn who we are. And at this, dogs definitely excel.

When folks talk about their yoga practice, often they speak of a home yoga sanctuary, away from the hustle and bustle of their family life and their pets. But to me, that’s not at all what yoga’s about. Personally, I always do my yoga practice with my dogs, in my own home. It’s a time for my connection to myself, but also for connection with my dogs, those who I have chosen to partner with me in my life. How many times do you catch your dogs looking at you when you’re on your phone? And you think, gosh, why am I staring at a screen and what would my dog think of that. When dogs know that all there is in life is connection, of enjoyment of the here and now.

I’m so, so grateful to my dogs for seeing me through the tough times, for accompanying me on the path to the best times, for sharing my most profound life moments and for non-judgmentally loving me each and every day. For when my dogs look at me they don’t think, she’s overweight, needs a haircut or what on earth is that outfit! They only judge us on the quality of time we share together, and all they ask for is that we stay present with them as they teach us to be present to all of life’s thousand sorrows and joys. Dogs also teach us how short life is, we see their journey from puppy and take them on their journey right to saying goodbye. They teach us how precious and short life is, and how we simply cannot afford to miss one single second.

Further Reading

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Guest Blog: Anna Webb

It’s interesting that there are many flea ‘species’, including dog fleas, hedgehog fleas, human fleas, but 90% of the world’s flea population is the very well adapted ‘cat flea’ otherwise known as 'Ctenocephalides Felix’.

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