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‘It’s not dog yoga, it’s doga’: we spoke to a London doga teacher

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

Never heard of doga? It’s like yoga, but with dogs in the mix – take a look at our video if you want to see it in all its glory. We caught up with DogaMahny founder Mahny Djahanguiri to find out what it’s all about

How does doga work?

‘It’s not dog yoga, it’s doga – yoga for you and your dog. I’m not stretching dogs out. It’s a human yoga class and your dog is off lead.’

So the dogs aren’t really involved?

‘The dogs in my yoga class benefit equally. But the benefits are bigger if you don’t get your dog involved. If you don’t force anything, that’s when the magic can happen.’

What kind of stuff?

‘It will take six sessions until you start getting into it – when you possibly might start lifting dogs up. The little dog becomes a weight and a big dog becomes a yoga bolster – you can fold over your dog or do backbends over your dog.’

Where did the idea for doga come from?

‘I had the idea after working with kids – they’d run around but I just ignored it and in the end, everyone came on the yoga mat. So I said if that works, it will work with animals.’

Had you been to a doga class before?

‘No, I didn’t even know it existed. But there’s doga all over the world – I’m not the first.’

What’s your favourite pose to do with your dog?

‘He likes the ‘hot dog’, when he lies back over my shins and then I bend over him. He likes to be in a backbend. I don’t know why.’

Are there ever any funny moments with the dogs in your classes?

‘They all wee, hump and bark. All the dogs wee in one place. And there will always be a dog that tries to hump.’

Would you ever do yoga with any other animals?

‘Anyone can come to my class – dogs, cats. On “Britain’s Got Talent”, Simon Cowell asked me if I’d do it with camels – he’s a nutter. I said well, if you want to bring a camel to my yoga class and someone looks after it, yeah, sure. There’s goat yoga and cat yoga now – it’s everywhere. I don’t think I’ll ever consider any other animals. Why would you put a turtle in a yoga class?’ 

Photos: Sweatstudios

Want to find out more about doga? Head to a doga taster evening (complete with a doggy disco and after party!)

Or check out the website to book a class.

Find more fun things to do with your dog right here.

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