Doga instructor Michelle Baldwin exercises with Guru Max at Coolangatta.
Doga instructor Michelle Baldwin exercises with Guru Max at Coolangatta. Scott Powick

Yoga, dogs and the great outdoors a real winner

THE mix of yoga, outdoors and dogs is proving to be a winning combination for fitness fans at Coolangatta.

Students and their dogs are coming from Brisbane, Byron Bay, the Gold Coast Hinterland, Gold Coast and Tweed Heads to join "doga” classes run by Michelle Baldwin.

"The first class was over five years ago and it has been popular ever since,” she said.

"The class is good for weight-loss, stretching, exercise, anxiety, socialisation, pet therapy and more. It can only result in smiles and benefits for health and wellbeing.

"We were the first to start 'doga' in Australia and are the doga specialists.

"The goal of doga is to bring the community together to enjoy the health benefits of yoga with their dogs, while also raising money for local animal charities.

"One hundred per cent of the money from each class is donated to charities like Friends of the Pound, AWL, RSPCA and Best Friends Rescue.”

Ms Baldwin noticed years ago that her dog Guru Max liked to join in with poses while she was training teachers ... and doga started from there.

"I'd seen it in Japan and combined all my skills in putting a safe and fun class together called doga - yoga for dogs,” she said.

"We want to continue to grow the classes of doga to help the local animal charities, to help the health of the yogis and dogis participating and we would love to work with Dr Chris Brown - previously known as the Bondi Vet - who is passionate about helping dogs in need.” 

In the lead-up to the classes, yogis and their dogis meet outside the studio at 1b/30 Griffith St, Coolangatta, at 9am and go for a walk to an outdoor location.

The pups enjoy a doggy meditation, tricks and massages.

After the class, dogs and owners wind down with a "puppachino” and coffee.

Doga is suitable for dogs of any size.

They must be kept on a lead during the doga classes.

The cost is $15 per class and bookings are essential by calling Ms Baldwin on 0402 717 742.


Sunday, July 23, for Best Friends Rescue 9am-10am

Sunday, August 27, for Animal Rescue Qld 9am-10am

Sunday, September 24, for RSPCA Qld 9am-10am