Dogs Getting Downward, Upward, and Stretching

Dogs Getting Downward, Upward, and Stretching

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Just watching a pup go through some of it’s moves, you can quickly sort out why a particular yoga pose may have been named Downward Facing Dog.

Yoga postures, and their names, are culled from the natural world.  Something like Mountain Pose, makes complete and total sense while others, such as Wounded Peacock, may take a little more imagination to conjure.  However, those that are clearly dog-influenced may be, for the novice at any rate, a little more relate-able.

And as much as it may tickle our funny bones, once in a while, when we see animals stretching in somewhat odd fashion, it is actually an important part of a healthy regimen.  In an Animal Wellness article, four simple stretches you can do for your dog are shared, along with these outlined benefits of stretching:

• Dogs who are getting up in years are prone to joint problems, muscle loss, decreased flexibility, and the aches and pains of an aging body. Stretching can help alleviate these issues.

• If your dog is an athlete – especially in a strenuous sport like flyball or agility – he’s putting stress on his body whenever he competes. Stretching is extremely beneficial for him.

• Large and giant breeds typically have more musculoskeletal problems than smaller dogs, so keeping your big guy or gal lean, strong and supple with stretches will serve him well throughout his life.

Taking a cue, perhaps you can recognize some of these natural motions your dog may practice on a daily basis.

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

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Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

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Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

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Three-Legged Down Dog (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana) is also sometimes called One-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)

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Here are some dogs putting it all together! Remember, stretching is an amazing health benefit, particularly is your dog is an athlete or senior.  A few stretches a day for the both of you can do a world of good.

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