Doga  Image




Since I am a yogi, my dogs are dogis and my cat is a cogi.


When the century changed, I started practicing yoga.    Initially, I had a regimented practice.  It was the exact opposite of what yoga should be.  Rather than surrendering to my body and the moment, I pushed through poses and demanded perfection from myself.


However, as my understanding of yoga grew, my practice became playful, light, and flexible. 


With four dogs and a cat, sometimes there’s not room for me on my yoga mat. 


While I stand near the front of my mat in tadasana, mountain pose, my pack sits behind me.  I reach up, extend my arms toward the sky, and fold forward to find a cold nose poking at me.  Rather than jump back into plank, I stretch one leg back at a time.  Under my chest sits my cat.  So, instead of lowering all the way down to the mat, I modify the pose.


In each pose, the dogs and the cat nudge closer to me.  We breathe.


Yoga, in Sanskrit, means “to yoke.”  Ancient yogis created the poses to help quiet the mind. 


Practicing yoga with animals changes the poses and requires me to be in the moment. 


Sharing a yoga mat with pets feels right. 

About Julie Hooker

I'm a teacher, writer, and editor. In addition, I'm an animal rescuer, yogi, and friend.
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3 Responses to Doga

  1. Anitra says:

    I really love this. It seems that the connection between animals and yoga is so natural! It’s great to hear that dogs have inspired you to be more playful with your yoga practice. They’re great that way! If you’re interested, my yoga blog is and we just started a facebook page at .



  2. Sherry Peterson says:

    I wish I had moves like that dog. I can’t do that pose to save my life.


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