Love like a puppy

Love like a puppy dog: partner yoga exercises for fun. By Gopala Amir Yaffa

Have you ever had a puppy? There is not much to compare with this truly unconditional love.

I mean, I love people… but people are complicated and so are the relationships with them. Your mum, your dad, your siblings, your children, friends… they are all amazing people, but they are complicated.

But a puppy is not. They just love and that makes it so easy to love them without ever needing to hold back.

Have you ever loved a puppy? How wonderful would it be if we could love everyone so freely like a puppy, if our heart would expand uncontrollably like that every time we see a loved one?

We carry a burden with us, all of our hurts and disappointments. This makes us hold back a bit, hesitate, not give it all. We are afraid of getting hurt again.

But remember that feeling of being in love for the first time? Nothing would compare to that total self-abandoning giving it all feeling. For me, this feeling is freedom. This feeling of loving like you would a puppy or loving as a puppy loves you is my goal. What do you think?

Here are a few family yoga poses to remind you of just that:

Taking the Dog for a Walk
In twos, one person is a dog in Downward Facing Dog while the other takes them on a walk! Maybe even jog together! You could also command them to fetch, roll over etc. And of course, scratch their tummies and whatever other dog things you can think of.

Walking the dog

Double Dog 
One partner comes into Down Dog Pose and the other partner places their palms on the floor about a foot or two in front of the dog’s hands and puts their feet on the dog’s hips. There is a perfect spot for the balls of your feet to fit over your friend's hip bones. If you are the second partner try to bring your body 90° to your legs by walking your hands closer to the dog; your weight will help the dog stretch his legs more while you get a good workout for your hands and shoulders. Both partners should remember to keep their arms really straight!

Barefoot Photographer

Levitating Dog 
From Double Dog, the partner on top pushes really hard with their feet, then the bottom dog might be able to lift their hands off the floor and bring them to the sides performing a flying dog.

Levitating dog A&G
Barefoot Photographer

Scorpion On a Dog 
One partner comes into Down Dog Pose and the second partner places their palms on the floor about a foot in front of the dog’s hands and places their chest on the Down Dog person’s back. Using this support, the second partner lifts their legs up, looks up, slowly bends their knees and brings their feet towards the top of their heads.

Dog Pyramid

Down Dog Pyramid 
In groups of three, two bases do Downward Dog facing each other with their hands slightly touching the other’s hands. The top dog, the third person, places their hand one at a time on one of the base’s hips and then slowly lifts one leg at a time onto the other dog’s hips and lifting themselves into Downward Dog, and voila! You have a Down Dog pyramid!

Gopala Amir Yaffa is co-founder & wizard at Rainbow Kids Yoga (rainbowyogatraining.com)

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