HEALTH AND WELLNESS
It's never too late to paws and breathe.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
WHAT calms you? Different people have various ways of tapping into their inner peace. Many perform yoga exercises to feel centered and get focused. Now, there's even “dog yoga” for people who want to experience the zen state with their canine friends.
At the recently held cat and dog expo organized by Pet Express, Brad Feliciano demonstrated some basic yoga poses that are applicable to dogs. With his svelte dog Alba, Brad showed the audience that yoga can be even more rewarding when done alongside a favorite pet.
Brad, 31, from BetterDog, said he studied dog training in the United States and has been doing yoga poses or “doga” with Alab for sometime now. Alab is a rescued Aspin adopted by Brad from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). The very obedient Alab will turn seven years old in March 2016. This wonderful dog is also one of the instructor dogs at BetterDog.
Brad and his friend yogis currently hold regular yoga sessions with their three dogs every Wednesday night from 7pm to 8pm at their place at the ground floor of G&A Building at 2303 Pasong Tamo, Ext., Makati.
He said it's preferable to prepare dogs for yoga by giving them a good walking exercise first (10 kilometers, if possible). Those who wish to enroll their dogs for yoga class should also provide Better Dog with an approval form from a veterinarian to cancel out medical issues.
“We do require a veterinarian's approval because yoga is not advisable to dogs that are overweight, have joint problems and hip dysplasia,” added Brad.
He said there are many yoga poses that dogs can do, but they cannot do back bending.
“Some yoga poses need to be adjusted to suit the animal. They can do assisted handstand although there are some dogs that, after lots of practice, can do it on their own,” Brad said.
Dog yoga, he continued, makes dogs amenable to being touched. Dog yoga also helps lengthen the dog's spine so it becomes well formed even when they get old.
“It also allows humans to discover or detect early any lump and cyst in their dogs as they get to touch and hold them more during yoga,” Brad added.
To learn more about dog yoga, watch this video clip taken during the pet expo.
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