Downward doggies: A yoga class for people and their pups • Brooklyn Paper

Downward doggies: A yoga class for people and their pups

Zen space: Dogi and event organizer Dersh Valcin strikes a pose with her dog Chase.
Lavinia Paul

Finally, a yoga class for dogs!

Flexible folks and the furry friends will be able to stretch out side-by-side at a Bushwick yoga class on March 26. But the organizer of the “doga” class for people and their pooches says it is not about turning doggies into yogis — it is just a chance for owners to spend unique time with their dogs.

“It’s more for a bonding experience than anything,” said Desh Valcin, who owns Chase and Papi, a dog-walking service that also sponsors special events for dogs and their owners. “People really get to bond with their dogs when they do doga.”

During the 40-minute class, a yoga teacher will lead humans through a series of poses that incorporate their canine companions, including (naturally) downward dog and chair poses. Each stretched-out position lets the students keep a hand on their waggish pals, and the instructor will teach techniques for doggie massage to keep the pups calm. Valcin, who plans to join the class with her Chihuahua Papi, says that each class end with a meditation session, but since dogs are already enlightened beings, they usually just sit and pant while their owners reach their Zen space.

The class costs $64, but for people looking to bond with their fuzzy friends, Valcin says that the experience is priceless.

“They’re giving their dog attention and the opportunity to do something they love and never tried before,” she said. “You can never really waste money if it’s for your dog.”

The class is open fur all breeds and sizes of dog, although aggressive animals who spoil the vibes will be ushered out. Valcin said she has never seen that happen at a class — the calming class is especially good for rowdy dogs in need of special time with their human.

“I think dogs are stressed because they’re left alone when their owners go to work,” she said. “This is a great time for them to just relax and relieve that stress.”

A photographer will provide class attendees with souvenirs, snapping pictures of humans and their best friends during the class and while they unwind at post-yoga rooftop buffet, which will feature food for both people and pets.

Valcin is optimistic that the class will bring out a wide range of dogis, and give people the opportunity to exchange good vibes with their furry friend.

“No one can say they’re an expert on doga, it really depends on the energy with your dog.”

Chase and Papi’s Doga Class at Sugarlift [200 Morgan Ave. at Johnson Avenue in Bushwick, www.cpdogwalking.com/doga-class.html]. March 26 at 10 am, 11:20 am, and 12:40 pm. $64.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Not just for the yogis: Humans incorporate their dogs into their poses during the class, which is meant to calm down pooches and their owners.
Lavinia Paul

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