The 5,000-year old spiritual practice of Yoga that originated in ancient India, has come a long way. Fans can now select from a wide range of exercise choices that range from Power Yoga to Bikram Yoga where participants sweat it out in rooms set to a sweltering 104°C temperature.
Now, there is a new craze that is sweeping through the nation and other parts of the world, especially Asia - Doga! Yup that's right, it entails you and your pooch both performing the 'Downward-facing dog' together - well, sort of.
The brainchild of Florida-born yogi Suzi Teitleman, Doga is an attempt to combine the meditation benefits of yoga with the soothing effects of a gentle massage, which apparently is helpful to the digestive system and general well-being of man's best friend.
Suzi came up with the idea about eight years ago, after noticing that her spaniel Coali really enjoyed watching her performing Yoga. Suspecting there may be other 'Dogis' out there, she introduced it to as an option at the New-York based Crunch Fitness where she was Yoga Director - Sure enough, it was an instant hit. Today, there are many Doga studios throughout America and the craze has spread all the way to Hong Kong.
While there is no formal certification required to be a Doga instructor, Suzi does sell instructional DVD's that help Yoga teachers get started and even offers personal training sessions for those who really want to get into the deeper workings of the discipline!
As you can imagine, the dogs are not the most eager participants and any yoga 'pose' they perform is thanks to the manipulation by their owners. However, the ones that do take to it, do not seem to mind terribly, since the technique does recommend giving doggie treats in exchange for every yoga pose they participate in - Making for quite a happy pooch!