My Movement: How Dog Yoga Is Becoming The New Workout Of Choice

Too cute.

Joanne King is an esteemed yoga teacher, actress, mother and doula who has led groups through a unique and fun form of exercise – doggy yoga!

Were you always into fitness?

No! I wasn’t a very sporty kid but I discovered yoga when I was 18 and never looked back.  

What exactly is dog yoga? 

It is essentially a dog-friendly yoga class enhanced by the joy of having your four-legged friend with you as you practice! 

Does certain types of yoga work best for this? 

For dog yoga, I teach a slow flow class, breath work, and a little meditation with a few references to ‘puppy pose’ and ‘downward dog’ for good measure.

How did you first get into dog yoga? 

I was first asked to teach dog yoga for Conrad Dublin’s ‘Downward Dog Yoga’ series and I rose to the challenge! The beauty here is that yoga practitioners can enjoy a restorative class with the added benefit of being surrounded by furry friends.

Are there any moments that stand out from your doggy yoga sessions?

We had a pair of puppies fall a bit in love with each other at the last session in Conrad Dublin. It was adorable and hard to concentrate on anything else! Sometimes it can take the pups a few minutes to settle, but generally, they do once the owner finds their own zen!

What are the benefits of doggy yoga? 

The greatest benefit I’ve noticed is the calm that comes over the room after just a few minutes. It is regulating for both the yoga practitioner and the dogs. Practicing in a room with dogs can release endorphins, increase empathy levels, lower blood pressure and encourage social connection. 

Do you think there are any misconceptions about yoga as fitness? 

I think sometimes yoga can be perceived as a stretch class or a physical workout. I believe yoga is a holistic experience designed to bring both better strength and flexibility to the body, regulate the breath and major systems in the body, bring a sense of calm in the mind, and cultivate greater levels of awareness. 

What is your advice for people interested in trying doggy yoga?

Come with an open mind and a sense of fun! You can practice with your dog or you can also come along solo to enjoy being amongst dogs and other dog lovers. 

Why is movement and yoga important to you?

I love the feeling of moving my body and love how I feel for the rest of the day when I practice. It allows me to feel embodied, grounded, calmer in my mind and an overall sense of well-being and joy! I believe inner peace ripples out towards more peace for the planet, and that’s why I teach and practice. 

The next session of Downward Dog Yoga at Conrad Dublin is set to take place in April 2024 and welcomes dog owners and non-owners alike to join in on these zen sessions. To keep up to date with the next Downward Dog Yoga session, make sure to follow @conrad_dublin on social media.

Joanne’s next retreat is in Wicklow September 13th – 15th at You can find more information about her classes and events at

This article first appeared in the March/April issue of STELLAR