Scenes from our first-ever “Doga” event

May 10, 2023

For many, the path to a healthier body and mind starts on a yoga mat. For others, there’s no better tonic for emotional wellbeing than cozying up with a loyal, lovable pup.

On Cross Campus yesterday, members of the Yale community had the best of both worlds.

To promote community wellbeing and healthy lifestyles, Being Well at Yale and Belonging at Yale, in partnership with Yale Police Officer Rich Simons, invited students, staff, and faculty — as well as a few four-legged guests — to participate in its first “doga” yoga practice.

After getting a chance to meet with some local canine celebrities — including Handsome Dan, the most recognizable bulldog on campus, and Heidi, the beloved Yale public safety service dog — participants returned to their mats for a special yoga practice, led by Being Well’s education specialist/coordinator Danielle Casioppo. Throughout the session, Dan, Heidi, and other service dogs from nearby police departments mingled with the human participants, who executed their poses while simultaneously petting the pooches, offering comfort to the people and animals alike.

For the campus community, Casioppo said, the event was a chance to stretch, breathe fresh air, and “peti-itate.” The service dogs offered an extra calming, comforting presence, encouraging compassion and connection.

We were thrilled to partner with Officer Simons and Yale Public Safety to create an opportunity where we could join together as a community and connect amidst the comforting presence of Heidi and friends,” said Lisa Kimmel, director of Being Well at Yale. “It was an experience for the body and soul.”

View the YaleNews slideshow

Join us for our next Belonging at Yale Community Doga event September 13!