“I’d like to try yoga.”
Fido lay at my feet, watching a yoga program on television.
“Well, it’s not unheard of,” I said. “People and dogs who do yoga together call it doga. They swear by it.”
“Tell me more, please,” Fido said.
“I will, but only if you tell me about this wild-hair of an idea first.”
“Oh, I don’t know, but I figure winter’s coming up pretty soon. There will be lots of days that just won’t be very pleasant outdoors, so I’m looking for something to do in here.”
“Fair enough, Fido.”
He leapt to his feet.
“Hey hey hey hey! When can we start?”
“No time like the present.”
I fetched my yoga mat from the hallway and unrolled it on the floor. Fido hopped aboard, down on one end of the mat. The trick, I said to Fido, is to see if can relax together, matching breath for breath.
Fido stretched out beside me while I did savasna – the corpse pose.
By golly, he picked right up on it, although it was mostly impossible to tell of he was in a pose or merely dozing. I’d like to think he was in a pose, but that might have been wishful thinking.
As for me, I tried to connect with Fido’s breath and heartbeat.
After a while I asked Fido if he wouldn’t mind too much if I used him as a prop. He wanted to know what the payoff was going to be for him.
“Tell you what: if you do that, I’ll show you a great doga stretch.”
I put by hands on Fido’s back and moved into triangle pose. I put Fido on his tummy during a reverse tabletop pose.
From time to time I worked in a doggie stretch or twist during a seated side angle pose, which was darned tricky.
I held Fido’s front paws together while lifting a hind leg for a deep hip stretch, and then switched to the other hind leg.
“Oh, that is just great,” Fido said.
There is a lot of material on the Internet dealing with doga, as I found out after our first session.
Much of it, as you’d expect, is ridiculous, particularly the YouTube demos.
Then again, some of it is quite useful, at least for your own, selfish purposes. To the surprise of neither one of us, one of the more popular poses in doga is Downward-facing Dog.
“What’s going be our routine?” Fido said.
“I’m figuring on twice a week, maybe three when we move into the winter. What do you think?”
“Think? I’m a dog. I don’t think. But my impression is that twice a week would be good.”
“As long as it doesn’t interfere with college football.”
“Hey hey hey hey!”