What is puppy yoga?
by Ezra • 4 minutes read
Last updated: 14 Sep, 2023
Yoga can be practised in a variety of different ways. There is hot yoga, prenatal yoga, mum and baby yoga - but have you heard of puppy yoga before?
Puppy yoga has grown in popularity over the years. The classes involve performing simple poses while puppies are running around, climbing on top of you, and sleeping in your lap.
Puppy yoga classes are beginner level and more light-hearted than a traditional yoga class. Yoga instructors are expecting a class full of laughter and small barks as the puppies become a part of the pose you’re performing.
A popular yoga pose in puppy yoga is uttana shishosana, or puppy pose, which involves a deep backbend and the opening of the chest. This pose resembles a dog when stretching onto its back legs so it is one the puppies can easily mimic!
Benefits of puppy yoga
The aim of bringing puppies into the studio is to merge the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga with the mental health benefits that come from playing with animals.
Regular practice of yoga is an excellent form of exercise for overall health and wellbeing. Physically, yoga will increase flexibility, muscle strength, reduce chronic pain symptoms, and help maintain a healthy metabolism. Mentally, yoga relaxes the mind, increases body awareness and self-actualisation, and creates mental clarity.
Spending time with puppies is another great way to reduce stress. When we bond, pet, and play with puppies, the hormone oxytocin is released which alleviates symptoms of anxiety and depression. Puppies also offer us emotional support and comfort.
When yoga and puppies are combined, the body receives an endorphin boost which reduces blood pressure and greatly relaxes us.
The benefits of puppy yoga are also felt by the puppies themselves.
Puppies are at least seven or eight weeks old before they start attending classes. The younger a puppy is, the easier it is for them to be socialised. This increases the chance of the puppies developing into friendly and trusting adult dogs and settling happy into a new home. Animal shelters are known to loan puppies to yoga classes in the hopes that someone will feel inclined to adopt them.
If a puppy is hyperactive or anxious then this form of yoga class can be a great way for them to release pent up energy and become more relaxed. They will become used to different environments and a variety of smells, tastes, and noises.
Downsides of puppy yoga
A puppy yoga class does not come without its difficulties.
The most common controversy that surrounds the concept of adding puppies to yoga classes is the ethics behind it. Normally puppies are provided by breeders or private owners, who tend to value profit over the welfare of the animals. Due to the young age of the puppies, some believe that they have not had time to develop a strong immune system and therefore could be at a greater risk of illness.
Traditional yoga is meant to be a spiritual experience that is tranquil and relaxing. Some people argue that the distraction caused by the puppies during the yoga class detracts from the sanctity of the exercise, instead commercialising it and making it another trend.
Book a class today!
With the multitude of benefits that puppy yoga provides, it is well worth booking a class.
Puppy Yoga London is one of the most popular classes in the UK to try out this unique experience.
A one hour class costs £35. The classes normally sell out very quickly as they are so high in demand so expect to book a few months in advance!
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