Love Like A Puppy Dog

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?

 

Dog Lying Down Bed Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

 

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?


90% Or more of it all is suitable for teaching online, especially if it is Family Yoga! 

 

Introduction

Talk briefly with your group about what I wrote above or any dog related topic.


Question: What would you do differently in your life if you were a dog?


Let everyone in the circle answer this question on their turn and share their wisdom with the tribe.

 

Discussion Circle Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

5 Minutes

 

Dog Hello

In the Downward Facing Dog Pose, behave like a dog, move around the room walking like a dog, talk like a dog, wiggle your tale like a dog and breath like a dog.

dog hello -  Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

Now bark at someone to ask for their name… After a few minutes, bark at someone if you want them to say your name and show extreme dog excitement when they say your name.

This is so much fun and always helps to get out of the head and into the body! Whenever you are stressed just play like a dog for a bit and all is good again - Yay!


5 Minutes

 

 

Sun Dance with Song

Try this one by Kira Willey

 

 


Best to learn and sing and do with the kids (rather than playing it on the stereo).


Sun Salutation, Dance for the Sun, 

Sun Salutation, Dance for the Sun, 

Sun Salutation, Dance for the Sun, 

I can do it, You can do it, We can do a Sun Salutation! 


Stretch up high, (into the sun)

Hang down low, (tickle your toes)

Feet jump back, (just like a frog)

Belly on the ground, (just like a snake)

Look at the Sun, 

Now Downward Dog.


And Breath, (and breath)

And Breath, (and breath)


Feet jump up, (just like a frog)

Hang down low, (tickle your toes)

Stretch up high, (into the Sun)

Mountain Pose. (look what you've done)


5 Minutes

 

 

Groups Of… Dogs


This is an awesome game to mix up the group and create new pairs or small groups.


Put some music on and have everyone walk around the room. Then ask them to:


  • Walk like dogs in groups of 1
  • Jump up for treats in groups of 3
  • Chase each other like dogs in groups of 2
  • Splash in puddles like dogs in groups of 3
  • Fall asleep like a dog in groups of 1
  • Fetch a ball in groups of 2 (one is dog the other throws the ball)
  • Beg for food like a dog in group of 1
  • Chase a cat or a bird in group of 2 (one is a dog and the other is a cat/bird)
  • Drink like a dog in group of 1
  • Play fight like dogs in groups of 2

Finish the game in the size of group you want to work in for the next activity, this time it can be 2 or 3.


5 Minutes


Under & Over Yoga Warmup

It is easily done for family yoga even in pairs or in small groups of 3 or 4.

Everyone assumes the pose that you call out and the first person goes over/under all the poses and becomes the last one in the line. 

Dog pose Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

Now the next person at the beginning of the line starts going over or under all of the poses. You don’t need to wait for the first person to reach the end before you send the next person through. Use your whistle to indicate that it is time for the next person to go!

Go from easier poses to go under/over to harder ones:


Poses To Go Over - Child Pose, Cat Pose, Dog Pose, Standing Forward Bend (in Dog and Forward Fold, the person who goes over can bring their feet apart, put their hands on the base’s hips using that to prop themselves over)


Poses To Go Under - Down Dog Pose, Wheel Pose, Bridge Pose, Plank Pose


5 Minutes


It’s Doggie Time!

Dog Pose - Plant your hands and feet on the ground, push the floor away and lift your hips up. Stretch a bit like a dog would, exploring a bit of movement here. Then also try to be still for a short while.


Dog song - 


I have a dog his name is Rags;

He eats so much his tummy sags,

His ears flip flop his tail wig wags

And when he walks, he walks zig zag

He goes flip flop, wig wag, zig zag;

He goes flip flop, wig wag, zig zag;

He goes flip flop, wig wag, zig zag;

I love Rags and he loves me!

My dog Rags he loves to play,

He rolls around in the mud all day.

I whistle, he won't obey,

He always runs the other way.

He goes flip flop, wig wag, zig zag;

He goes flip flop, wig wag, zig zag;

He goes flip flop, wig wag, zig zag;

I love Rags and he loves me!

 

Listen to it here: 

 

 


Pet the dog - Go around the circle and pet all the dogs telling them “good dog” and “cute puppy etc”. This will help them to stay for longer in the pose.


Wagging tale - Lift a leg up and wiggle it. But remember that yoga dogs have 2 tales, so switch legs too!

dogs with a tail

Dog breath - Stick your tongue out and breath like a dog.


Taking the dog for a walk - In twos, the person takes the dog on a walk… maybe jog together… you could also commend them to fetch, roll over etc… scratch their tummies and whatever other dog things you can think of.

dog walk - Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

5-10 Minutes


Yoga workshop - Downward Facing Dog

This is the best way to teach children how to improve their poses!

down dog  Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

Here we take a few minutes to teach the children how to do a certain pose better. In these few minutes we take one pose and we teach the children how to do that one pose better, How to go into and out of the pose, How to do variations in the pose, and How to do it in pairs and in a group.

 

Here are a few things you can work on:

Straight Arms Vs. Bent Arms - While in the pose try to bend your arms… even try a few Down Dog push ups… is it easy? No! Now push the floor away. Don’t just straighten your arms, but extend them. Is that easier? The more you keep your arms extended here the easier the pose is and the longer you can comfortably stay in it.

 

Adjustments in Pairs:

Feet Onto Shoulders - In pairs, one partner comes into the Downwards Facing Dog Pose. The other partner sits near the Downwards Facing Dog person’s head facing them. Placing their hands behind themselves on the floor, they put their feet on the shoulders of the Downwards Facing Dog person helping them gently and slowly bring their chest closer to their thighs. This really helps in opening the chest and the breathing in the pose.

 

Lean On - In pairs, one partner comes into the Downwards Facing Dog Pose. The other partner lays with their chest across the back of the Down Dog person and holds their legs. By purring weight to the Down Dog person's feet you help them take weight away from their hands as well as give them a wonderful stretch to the back part of their legs.


Pull Away - In pairs, one partner comes into the Downwards Facing Dog Pose. The other partner stands behind, respectfully and firmly holds the Down Dog person’s hips and leans backwards away from the Down Dog person. Similar results as the previous exercise.

 

Partner Downward Facing Dog Poses:

double dog -  Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

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 friends 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!


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 -  Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

 

 

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.

scorpion on a dog pose - Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

 

Group Pose:

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 bases hips and then slowly lifts one leg at a time onto the other dogs hips and lifting themselves into Downward Dog, and Voila! You have a Down Dog pyramid!

down dog pyramid - Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

15 Minutes


Belly Rubs & Dog Relaxation

dog belly rub

 

Lie down on your back and let your Mum or Dad or the teacher or a friend rub your belly - It feels so good!


Switch roles of course… and then everyone relax on their backs and close your eyes…


Now imagine your favorite park with as many details as you can… grassy hills, trees, flowers, maybe a river... 


And see yourself there in that park as a beautiful and cuddly puppy dog on a warm summer day.


Using your imagination, run free and wild all around the park exploring EVERYTHING and enjoying all the little and big and magical things that life has to offer!

dog grass  Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training
Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

Use all of your senses:


Stand still for a moment and listen to the birds singing beautiful and varied songs.


Look up and squint at the sun, letting all the rays of sunlight turn into rainbow colors through your half shut eyes.


Dogs have the most sensitive noses, so take some deep sniffs and smell all of the flowers that are blossoming on this truly amazing day here in the park.


Run through a puddle or take a dip in the lake and shake your head from side to side… See it in slow motion in your mind's eye with your face and your ears flopping from side to side and all the droplets slowly shaking of you!


Go and crash a birthday party and taste a bit of all of the vegan snacks and cake there, go for it! Don’t be shy!

 

dog on a hill -  Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training
Photo by Kevin Noble on Unsplash

 

Now all of a sudden your favorite ball appears… See it in your mind in detail… The colors, the texture in your mouth… What does it taste like?


Run around and play play play! No reserves, nothing can hold you back!

dog hug kid -  Love Like A Puppy Dog Class Plan Valentine's Day Rainbow Yoga Training

...Now you see your Mum or Dad or some friends. You are so happy to see them! Go and give them some love!


Jump on them, lick them, happily bark at them, play with them, love them with all of your heart and show them with all of yourself how much you love them.


Ok… Now calm down… Let your breath catch up and slow down…


Wiggle your fingers and toes, stretch your arms over your head, yawn a bit… You are back here, but don’t forget to be a bit more like a puppy in your own life now, you owe it to yourself and to all the people that you love.


5-10 Minutes

 

Suggested playlist for this class plan:

 

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