April 26, 2009

Yoga classes truly going to the dogs

The founder of a specialized day-care center in Madison, Wis., says her yoga classes for dogs at the site have been a surprise success.

Ruffin' It Resort owner Renee Brantner Shanesy said the so-called doga classes offered at the hotel and day-care center for dogs have resulted in a waiting list for those wanting their canines to get some stress relief, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Saturday.

It was just kind of a trial-and-error thing -- let's see how it is in the Madison market. But it's been nuts, Shanesy said.

The doga classes, which feature eight dogs and their owners, offer stress relief for human and canine participants alike, instructor Courtney Weis said.

Dogs take cues from us. If you're stressed out, they are, Weis said. Dogs live in the moment, which is what humans are striving for in yoga.

Jody Ekern, who brought her Jack Russell/cairn terrier mix to the class, admitted the class did seem to calm her dog, Count Chester.

He was so excited when he came in, Ekern told the Journal Sentinel. I was surprised at how much he calmed down.