Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wiener Dog Wednesday!

I pilfered these photos off of my friend Chantay's facebook photo album...she doesn't know yet.
The spotted W.D. in the middle picture (Jooky) was in a doga demo at a Humane Society event. Her performance went swimmingly.
Have a Happy Wiener Dog Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

With my book coming out in a few days, I've been super busy. Booksignings, demos, dog events. Lots of fun stuff coming up. Oh and I am working on the next teacher training as well, TBA by next week!
One fun thing coming up at the end of May is Yappy Days in Pacific City, Oregon. It's a dog festival at Inn at Cape Kiwanda. I'll be teaching two doga classes on the beach as well as doing a signing and I get to be a judge for the dog contest. There will be a lot of other fun dog activities as well so if you're in the hood come on's only about an hour and a half out of Portland. Hope all is well for all you yogis and dogis out there! We love you and appreciate your support!

Brenda, Gus and Honey

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Barking Buddha Dog of The Week: Jinxi!

Jinxi searching for wild game amongst the grass blades in my back yard. This week's dog is little Jinxi. Jinxi , a shibu/ chihuahua mix, hails from a kill shelter in California and ended up with her dads via Ginger's Pet Rescue here in Seattle. Jinxi is a small dog with a HUGE personality.
I sometimes dog sit Jinxi and she has attended doga classes with me. I usually do the class with my two dogs on the mat with me and thought three would be a little crazy, but she took to it right away, no problemo.
Such a natural little dogi that she and her human, Darren, are two of the models in my book (prepare for the shameless plug about to take place) Barking Buddha Doga; Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi.
Jinxi loves to cuddle and sleep with her head on your pillow. She also knows the power of cute and demonstrates with her meerkat pose up on her haunches which gets her almost anything she wants from those who aren't on to her. I heart Jinxi!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Barking Buddha Doga Tip of the Week; Super Dog Stretch Part 2

I find the practice and poses in doga to be more organic than in a people yoga class...and more so with our larger canine companions. The small dog poses in doga are kind of a no brainer, with the lifting and the balancing. Because of this it can feel more challenging to incorporate the larger dogis into the practice. But really it's just a matter of looking at what you want the pose to accomplish and then modify accordingly.

For example, in Super Dog Stretch you can certainly lift your large dogi if you and your dog are in good physical condition. But if your dog is too heavy or if she's relaxed lying on the mat and it just doesn't seem right to make her stand, you can figure it out. Remember the goal. Super Dog Stretch is stretching the legs from the armpit and also, depending on where the human is in the pose it can be a spinal twist or side waist stretch (see previous post from last week on Super Dog Stretch for deets). So for your big dogi , an option could be to reach under the arm (leg?) pits and massage or stretch outward. No lifting required, there are a couple of other modifications you could do as well but I won't be too long winded. Big Dogi owners...Let me know how it goes.


(image from MopCity News) I spent some time this morning meditating with one of my spiritual teachers (she'll probably never read this blog, she doesn't do computers) anyway she shared with me something about the close genetic relationship between bears and wolves, how they split off and then eventually dog came into being and became our companions, protectors, workers, healers, friends, family. I love the image of the dog/wolf/bear. What a beautiful trilogy.
I can see and understand the wolf/bear thing in both my small and my large dog. Small dogs can have a personality big as a bear but large dogs can resemble them more physically, and we all of course can understand the wolf relationship, the pack order, ect.

Respecting where our canine companions have come from enables us to understand them better and appreciate how connected they are to the natural world (I'm smiling right now because I'm picturing a pack of wild pugs roaming the woods in cute little sweaters) . Even though many dogs have been specifically bred to be companion animals, they still have, somewhere in them the organic earth-connected nature of the wolf and maybe the bear.

This is one reason why I teach my classes organically, there is structure, but room for the dogs to be dogs and for the relationship between human and dog to grow in understanding of one another.

The organic nature of doga can allow us to move beyond the rigidity of ego or another way of thinking and harnessing the strength of the bear, the bravery of the wolf and the love of the dog in order to be grounded and open to our own creativity in life and enhance our relationship to our canine companions.

Live, Love, Play!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Barking Buddha on The Seattle Humane Society Blog

Nice article on The Seattle Humane Society P.I. blog. Click on the blog title above to link to the article.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Barking Buddha Doga Tip of the Week: Super Dog Stretch

This is Sucia in Super Dog Stretch. I love this picture because Sucia looks like a puppet or some 1/2 human beast.

To do this pose make sure you engage your core before lifting. You can do this pose from a squat, lunge or kneeling position. This pose is a nice stretch for your dogi's front legs. It is very important to do this stretch from the armpit (or legpit?) rather than midway on the leg, which can be uncomfortable and not safe for your dog. Also be mindful of your dogi's age, physical condition and spine length when doing this stretch. You can also lean slightly or turn slightly to the right and left, giving you dogi a gentle spinal twist.

Twists are good for toning the organs and promoting spinal flexibility and health. There are large dog variations of this pose but you'll have to come back tomorrow for those.

Hey that's not Super Dog Stretch! True. The above picture is Bugsy at class on Saturday. He's so fun and one of those loud breathers (in doga, corpse pose can get loud, or Roll Over and Relax Pose as it's called in Barking Buddha Doga)...also high energy, but really calm during class, which continues to impress and amaze. I have these high energy breeds come to class and during the playtime at the beginning they're crazy, then on the doga mat... calm. Love it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Barking Buddha Quote of the Day (and a cute picture of Snickers)

When the heart is right, "for" and "against" are forgotten.

-Thomas Merton

Friday, April 10, 2009

Please view the photos in the link to the article provided in the media room at

Here are the pictures from The New York Times article on Doga. I'm trying to ignore that the wide angle lens the photographer used kinda squishes my already small stature and makes my bicep look as meaty as a honey-baked ham. Vanity aside, the photographer did an amazing job capturing the sweet expressions of the yogis and dogis attending this class.
I generally don't read a lot of commentary from articles written about doga and me...and the negative comments I do come across don't really bother me, like I told my husband, my youth prepared me to be a controversial adult. Not that I had a bad childhood or anything, but I've never been afraid to move forward with a new idea and often times new ideas freak people out and make them afraid. That's o.k. that's their thing.
Anyway, I felt bad for the poor teacher mentioned in the article who taught with treats and a stuffed animal. If you're out there struggling doga me! I never allow treats during class and the dogs always get playtime before and after the class to run around socialize and sniff butt. This also gives me the opportunity to notice and keep an eye on any aggressive or dominant personalities so I can nip any problems in the bud. Anyway the article was really nice and it was terrific to be included. They also included one of my teacher trainees from Chicago Kristyn Caliendo, she attended my teacher training seminar last fall in San Fran.
Well I didn't quite get to the tip of the week today...maybe tomorrow.
Don't forget tomorrows class at The Seattle Humane Society, 9:00 am! As always, a very generous portion of the class proceeds goes toward the ongoing efforts of The Seattle Humane Society.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Barking Buddha Doga in The New York Times!

Check it out online in the fashion and style section. I'll provide the link and some pics and comments later today.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Doga Class Schedule Change

Hello Yogis and Dogis!
I accidentally scheduled our West Seattle class on Easter Sunday.... Oopsy! We will instead be meeting at The Twilight Artist Collective Gallery for Barking Buddha Doga class on Sunday the 19th at 5:00. The class theme is gratitude. Looking forward to seeing you all then!
If you need a doga fix before the 19th, I'm teaching this coming Saturday, the 11th, at 9:00 am at The Seattle Humane Society.
Also...Don't forget to tell your friends with puppies to sign up for the new Puppy Doga series at The Downtown Dog Lounge beginning at the end of the month. Taught by yours truly along with dog trainer Cora Wittekind. We'll be focusing on basic commands and basic doga poses along with some leash training. Cuteness will abound, so stay tuned for cute puppy pics from the classes. Tomorrow (or maybe Friday :)) I'll be posting The Barking Buddha Tip of the Week, so check back. Hope you have a fabulous day!
Brenda, Honey and Gus