Sunday, May 21, 2006

Doga: Yoga for the Gullible

EoR was half listening to the ABC vet on the radio today. He was slightly bemused by the vet's suggestion to use "complementary and alternative therapies" for renal problems in raptors, especially since he didn't elaborate. Which therapies would be useful, EoR wondered? Acupuncture? Homeopathy? Herbs? Aura cleansing? Alien rectal probing? The list is endless. But then the vet casually mentioned Yoga for Dogs, yet another "alternative" modality that EoR had been completely unaware of until that moment.

Yoga for Dogs (aka Ruff Yoga aka Doga) appears to be making inroads into Australia.
A new craze in America is 'ruff yoga', or 'doga', where people take their dogs to yoga classes. They read their pooches dog stories, give them a big kiss, and put them in yoga positions so that the dogs can concentrate, which makes it easier for their owners to take them for walks in the park. Does this sound weird to you?

No, not weird. Stupid. A waste of money. Mindnumbingly desperately idiotic. But not necessarily weird. And talking of stupid and idiotic, the holistic vet interviewed claimed animals did yoga naturally because they happen to stretch. Then again, the vet appears to have fallen for the full "I'm too stupid to really be a vet"* thing:
Doctor Wilson doesn't only do yoga with pets, he also uses homeopathy in treating things like skin complaints.

In the longstanding tradition of the ABC in such matters, the whole issue is presented uncritically. Though some people think such inanities are the stuff of humour.

Doggy Yoga apparently started in the USA (in New York, where they obviously have too much money, too many dogs, and too much time). And, while one yoga teacher states
"It's hard for a dog to be mindful. Because dogs don't understand English, you can't lead them through a guided meditation."

they can still join in the chanting:
A few months ago, Chai began chanting with the students, making a sound like a happy moaning.

EoR expects animal psychics to be joining the yoga teachers any day now to aid communication during exercises.

Suzi Teitelman, the creator of Dog Yoga, was led to her "epiphany" when her dog revealed the inner wisdom to her.
As Crunch's New York-based director of yoga, she had her epiphany when her devoted cocker spaniel, Coali, began hovering by her yoga mat during at-home sessions. "Pretty soon I was getting Coali into positions, and I could just feel him getting happier," says Teitelman, who wears her dog-love proudly. "This is a partner class, where you and your dog get closer by working through poses together."

Does anyone think the dogs enjoy being held down in unusual poses? Does anyone think this has any benefit whatsoever? Does anyone think there is anything more to this than marketing as a way of extracting money?

Q: Why do dogs perform Dog Yoga?
A: Because they can.

*Also known as the "I can make so much more money with this woo stuff and without the liability issues" thing.


  1. My belly muscles are hurting from excessive laughter.

    Thank you!

  2. I don't know. It sounds like a good idea... for me to poop on!

    Apologies to Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.

  3. My dogs naturally do "yoga." Several times a day, they get up from their beds and do the "downward dog" and "upward dog" poses, so named because they're poses that dogs naturally do! I didn't have to pay 1 cent to teach them this, either. Of course, they also do the "rolling in something stinky" pose, and the "stand your ground and bark at the neighbor dog pose," as well. Maybe I'm on to something, here? Maybe I should start teaching other dogs these theraputic poses for money?

  4. I have two spayed female dogs. One regularly mounts and dry humps the other. It seemed she was a deviant but now I believe she is practicing tantric doga.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.