You may have seen a segment on CTV news Winnipeg last month on how Winnipeggers love dogs. Per capita, we have the second highest population of dogs to people in Canada - who knew! Though the numbers are there, Winnipeg is not super dog-friendly, meaning there aren't a lot of activities you can do with your dog short of going to a park (even a lot of patios do not welcome dogs).
I have been so pleased to partner up with Training Loyal Companions in order to offer doga (dog yoga) and really stoked that CTV came out to discuss it. The question I get asked a lot: why dog yoga?
Dogs bring people joy, comfort, and love. There's a reason wellness dogs are used in therapy, senior homes, and even in courts. Many of my students who come to dog yoga had never tried yoga before, but they were willing to if their dog was there. That says it all to me.
There's the occasional misconception that dog yoga is "Instagram perfect". While all the dogs that come to class must be socialized, that doesn't mean they won't get excited and want to play, play, play. Classes can be chaotic, I'm not going to sugarcoat it. There's barking, there may be dogs running with each other or rolling around on mats, and sometimes pee happens. If you have dogs or really love animals, you'll understand that this is their nature which must be embraced. They're exuberant beings who are expressing themselves. Because of this, classes are not your typical yoga studio classes of tranquility and calm. Instead, you can expect a lot of laughter, dog kisses and snuggles (they love getting hugged during yoga!), and a unique way of practicing poses if there's a stubborn dog or 2 who do not want to move from your mat.
Your dog gets the benefit of socializing with other dogs and people and of experiencing collective shifts of energy while the humans practice yoga. Most dogs chill out towards the end of class when we unwind with yin. During our first 6 weeks of classes, there was a lovely dog named Lilo who didn't know how to be a dog. She stayed on her mom's mat the entire time and did not understand what the dogs were doing when they play bowed to her. By the end of the 6 weeks, she was running and playing with the other dogs and visiting other humans at their mats - she learned how to be a dog!
Want to try it for yourself? I'd love to meet your dog (and you, of course ;))! No dog? No problem! You can still come to class and get your pup fix. At this time, classes are Sundays at 6:00 pm at Training Loyal Companions located at 62 Scurfield Blvd. We have limited drop-in spots available ($26.25 after tax). Please contact Christie at 204-794-5456 or firstname.lastname@example.org to mark your territory...errr...secure your spot in class.
*Screenshot snagged from CTV news Winnipeg (starring Lugnut's famous somersault)
*Photos by Sarah de Rosa