8 yoga moves you can do with your dog
By Anne Appleby
If you like yoga, chances are your dog will like it, too. As a matter of fact, when your dog wakes up in the morning or after a long nap, most likely he/she does downward facing dog first thing, often immediately followed by upward facing dog.
- Downward facing dog is an "A" pose: The paws are firmly implanted on the mat and the hips are shifted up, away from the paws. This is a wonderful decompressing of the spine for both dog and master. It is a good stretch for the upper back and it energizes the body for good digestion.
- Upward Facing Dog is also a common stretch your dog will do naturally: His/her hind legs will stretch back and the front legs will straighten out long. This pose will lengthen the lower back and stretch the chest, lungs, shoulders and abdominals. Believe it or not this pose is great for asthma.
- Mountain Pose: Just get your dog to stand in alignment on all fours with the paw pads firmly grounded to the mat. A standing pose is good for calming, balance and focus.
- Upward Paw Pose or Sun Salute: The pooch's back paws are on the ground and he is reaching up with his two front paws, this is a slight back bend to strengthen the back and leg muscles.
- Happy Baby/Happy Puppy Pose: Dog is on his/her back with the paws in the air. The spine is relaxed into the floor. This is a hip opener. Note: both dogs and human babies do this often it is relaxing! You might want to rub the tummy. They love that!
- Boat Pose: Same as above but as the dog wiggles to lift up, his back and his abdomen gain strength.
- Cobra: The dog will be on the ground in resting position and then it will look up and back, the legs will be out long in front and the front paws will be in alignment on the mat. The cobra pose enhances the dog's sense of smell. A treat is in order.
- Resting Pose: Relax and rest our short class for Rover is over.
Annie Appleby was one of the earliest participants in the U.S. yoga movement. She began taking yoga on the lot at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, California.
She later went on to patent a unique alignment exercise mat to help rehabilitate herself after a serious car injury damaged her back and hips.
Annie started teaching yoga privately in 1997 after founding her yoga apparel company, YogaForce, in 1995. As a skin cancer survivor and advocate, Annie has worked with companies like Johnson & Johnson, The Skin Cancer Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer.
As a health and yoga expert, Annie has also works closely with American Bone Health, a national organization that provides education, resources, and tools to help people understand bone disease and bone health.
Annie has made several television appearances, including "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in conjunction with MTV Yoga and YogaForce.
In May, 2010, Annie was invited to make a presentation on the benefits of balance and yoga to the Huntington's Disease Society of America annual convention.
Annie is the proud parent of a Pomeranian, Madison Avenue, and has recently been conducting dog yoga classes to work on alignment and bonding with her friends and their pets. Annie teaches human yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also travels to teach and is currently getting certified to teach Pilates as well.
See more about Annie and YogaForce at www.yogaforce.com.
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