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Does your pet workout?

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16th-Feb-2018       
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Weekend Plus Desk :
Dog owners would agree that pooches make great fitness buddies. They love running, stretching as yogis and indulging in sporty fun through the day. 'Bow wow' to animal workouts then. Exercising with pets or enacting animal poses is a fitness trend fast gaining momentum.
Pet plan : From yoga studios hosting sellout classes of working out with cats, up and down dog poses with pooches, yoga on horseback or goat yoga - yoga with animals is the 'meowest' fitness fad of the season.
Purists would say this is just another yoga fad (read paddleboard yoga, acro yoga), but who doesn't like trying out a new form of yoga with a quirky spin? Dog and horse yoga - claimed to improve the connect between pets and pet lovers - actually have the animals play an important role in the workout. Some of these classes are actually held in pet shelters to promote pet adoption as well.
Flow like an animal : Along with working out with animals, another form of exercise getting popular is 'Animal Flow'. Energy coach Urmi Kothari says it is a much more dynamic yoga which also mixes gymnastics, break dancing and b-bouying. She describes the activity as flow related, where you spend a lot of time on your hands and feet mimicking an animal crawling.
"The most important aspect of this form is that your body will always be in touch with the ground in some manner or the other. This is also called a closed kinetic chain workout. Even if you jump, you will support yourself on your hands and never completely leave the ground. It's a very fluid form of exercise and has immense benefits," Kothari explains.
Animal Flow is a body weight exercise that is safe, low impact and helps in building your muscles and fascia (soft tissue that surrounds the muscles). "This really helps you move efficiently and breathe better while improving the neuro-muscular and hand-eye co-ordination," adds Kothari. Along with this, it tremendously improves your joints and core strength. It is also fun and is usually done in a community with a lot of other group activities.
An animal pose yoga sequence involves poses such as cobra (Bhujan-gasana), eagle (Garudasana), downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), cat (Marjaryasana), cow (Bitilasana), fish (Matsyasana), camel (Ustrasana) and many more. 

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