Dog yoga class a huge hit in Christchurch

Yoga with animals is something that's growing in popularity worldwide and on Saturday Christchurch was treated to a dog yoga class.

'Doga' is said to be beneficial to both owners and their dogs, both for exercise and bonding.

Participants are encouraged to bend, stretch and straddle their dog.

It's all part of a doga class where people come to relax and do yoga and get down with their dog - or downward dog. 

The dog jokes are endless, but this isn't barking mad, it's serious stuff and is part of a worldwide growing trend.

"People enjoy the company of animals and they're looking for ways of incorporating animals into their lives," says Kathleen Crisley, founder of The Balanced Dog.

"There's something about the energy of animals that people really pick up on. I think it's a nice thing to do with their pet," says doga teacher Casey Bell.

And the pets enjoy it too. They can wander, stretch, sniff or sleep.

"When you're with your dog, the dogs key into that energy," Crisley says.

All doga students need to somewhat go with the flow and a doga teacher requires both body and brain flexibility.

"Before we were trying to do some relaxed breathing and the dogs were literally running around in circles chasing each other and barking so we kind of had to get up and do something a little more active," Bell says.

What's also active is the popularity of yoga with animals. One American business is making six figures from goat yoga. There's also puppy yoga, bunny yoga and even cow yoga.

Marie Auckram had never even tried yoga - let alone doga.

"It was great, [I] really enjoyed it," she says. "It was really nice having the dog here as well, didn't have to leave him at home."

Because let's face it, it's a dog's world after all.