Updated: Oct 5, 2019
When I was asked by my boss at Healme.nyc if I’d be interested in teaching Doga (yoga with your dog!), I believe my answer, verbatim, was “If it includes dogs, the answer is always yes!”. As a self-proclaimed crazy dog person, this sounded delightful. In addition to being a fun idea to get people into a new wellness center and engage with our community, it’s dogs...hell yeah!
I love my weekly class, it’s been a fun, one-hour pivot from teaching regular yoga classes all week long. It’s always a surprise, you never know how it’s going to go, and I can usually impart some kind of doggo-related wisdom at the end.
This past week I had the opportunity to teach 10 classes over 5 days for a dog pop-up event with Buzzfeed and Petco. This much back-to-back doga gave me a real, solid perspective about what this class actually does for people-myself included.
This is what I learned:
1.No one leaves unhappy. No one leaves stressed. Just the act of having dogs around uplifts the mood of everyone involved, across the board. If that’s not an effective mental health class, I don’t know what is.
2. Dogs are innocent, sweet, forever toddlers. They are playful and loving and fun...until people fuck them up. They shift when they’re mistreated, abused, neglected, unloved, etc. and become a different personality. Sound familiar? If you’ve ever wondered what your “inner child” meant, that’s it. We are all sweet, innocent, playful puppies until we are taught to be something else. What did you want for your life before you were told how to think and what to do?
4. Dogs are just happy. Happy all the time; just being alive. We can all take a lesson from that. It’s so worth the effort of doing the work on yourself to heal things you’ve picked up over the years, to truly let go of your bullshit, hurt, pain, trauma, bad relationships, things taught as a child; all of it, to just feel happy being alive. And it’s possible; I did it.
“ Just the act of having dogs around uplifts the mood of everyone involved, across the board. If that’s not an effective mental health class, I don’t know what is.“
5 straight days of feeling pure joy, being practically covered in puppies, wiped out any stressful situations I’d been dealing with and replaced it with intense happiness. We can all find something that makes us feel that happy to focus on every day. 2 min, 5 min, whatever you have, find something that makes you feel truly, immensely happy and feel it through your whole body. It will stick with you, boost serotonin levels in your brain, and change your mood instantly.
Doga does much more than just give people a fun experience with their dog. It shifts your state of mind; a mood-altering experience of the most innocent proportions. No matter what life B.S. you come into the class with, you leave without it and we can all use the reminder of watching our pet be happy and loving and playful. May all of us be more happy, loving, and playful.
••Come take my doga class at Healme.nyc or contact me to schedule an event with you! Find out for yourself how much amazing it is!