It keeps you limber and calms you down. Yoga is more popular than ever. But have you ever considered doing yoga with your dog?
It's called "Doga," and dozens of dog lovers are flocking to the monthly class at the SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo.
Yoga instructor Lisa Recchione reacted like many people when she first heard about doga: She says she was skeptical until she did some research and discovered there are great benefits for you and your dog.
During her hour long class, Recchione helps her class full of dog lovers stretch, bend and breathe their way to a closer canine connection.
"It's just you and your dog. Even though there's other people around you, you get in that zone and it's just you and your dog and you experience them on every level," she says.
While some dogs are a natural at doga, others need a little time to settle down.
Anna Laing says doga really mellows out her little Chihuahua, Izzy.
"By nature, Chihuahuas are a little bit skittish and a little bit shaky sometimes, so he's not like that when he does the Doga. He just relaxes and chills."
Patti Croyle likes what Doga does for her new high-energy puppy, Gracie. She says this is their one-on-one time.
"We've got three dogs total. And trying to divide my time between all of them, it gets hard. I want to bring each one," Patti says.
Any size dog can do doga. You just have to adapt the moves for the larger dogs.
Melissa Longo's rescued Golden Retriever, Kai, doesn't seem to mind a bit.
"She can't get into some of the positions the other dogs can because she's so big, but she does enjoy the massage part and the relaxation part," Melissa said.
Relaxation....and much more.
Recchione says the benefits of Doga are real, for you and your dog.
"Your blood pressure goes down. Your breathing goes down. If we stay relaxed, the dogs will relax. They feed off of us. So they become our little personal biofeedback machines," she said.
It's a full mind and body workout that has definitely gone to the dogs, and these yogis wouldn't have it any other way.
Doga classes are held at the SPCA Tampa Bay the fourth Sunday of each month. It is $15 per class and you can sign up online. For more information, here's the website:
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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