An introduction to Doga

Mahny Djahanguiri, founder of DogaMahny, talks about the benefits of yoga for dogs and their owners and how you can get started.

28th January 2020

A guest blog by Mahny Djahanguiri, founder of

This time of year, as everyone explores new challenges and new ways to stay healthy in mind and body, Mahny invited Patricia to talk about her experiences as a pet owner and what Animal Friends is doing to support animal welfare. They sat down (virtually!) together to chat about all things dog, as well as taking a couple of moments to practice the basics of Doga! Have a listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Acast.

To learn more about Doga, keep reading!

You may wish to explore yoga with your dog. Here Mahny talks about why she believes doga helps release negative feelings, has a positive effect on your health and could possibly strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

Dog Yoga may be slightly misunderstood… dogs don’t do yoga but humans DO!

Doga helps to release stress and anxiety in both human and hound. It’s a mutual energetic sharing experience where you share your calm with your dog through ancient yoga techniques like sounds, chanting, breathing and posture practice plus canine massage.

Yoga helps to reduce the heart rate and pulse of humans through ancient yogic breathing techniques. It helps to realign the spine and massage our internal organs through “poses” – releasing stress hormones which your dog can sniff; now add a dog to the equation, and you’ll have an extra sentient living being that will feed off from you calm and peace! Sometimes large dogs “can” serve as yoga bolsters for example or smaller dogs as weights … but nothing is ever forced.

When doing yoga alongside your dog, you help to reduce your dog’s heart rate, digestion and help elevate stress-related issues. Doga is an unleashed invitation to bond with nature. It releases serotonin in your gut and oxytocin in your brain as well as the dog’s.

Doga is about equal opportunity! you share the yoga mat with your dog whether he wants to sit still is entirely up to him and mustn’t effect your yoga practice. Every dog relaxes providing YOU relax first without expectations. Give it time and patience.

The basics of Doga

The basics of Doga are simply to have a yoga mat and a dog. If you don’t have a dog… use your husband or cat! It is also:

  • To understand the concept of how yoga works for humans
  • Respecting one’s dog not interfering or changing his behaviour throughout the session
  • To trust and let go
  • To have a sense of humour and preferable laugh out loud
  • To not take oneself too seriously
  • Be present and curious
  • Avoid leads & treats
  • Dogs show us to be spontaneous in the present moment so why not learn from them?

How to get started

You can start by getting a yoga mat online through Yoga Matters or another good yoga source.

  • Your mat should be sticky so you can take your socks off and not slip
  • Find a quiet time for a minimum of 60 minutes where you can switch off your phone with no interaction of family household
  • Find an enclosed space just for you and your dog
  • Let your dog lie on the sofa if he wants to watch you
  • Trust that you will bond with your dog even if he’s restless in the first session – dogs learn through repetition.
  • Have respect for the animal kingdom and acknowledge that their will is different from yours.
  • Loose ownership and let go
  • Trust Mahny and her dog Robbie for guiding you through an incredible internal transformation where you can find peace and stillness wherever you are!

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