Hugh Jackman’s French Bulldog Does Yoga Like a Pro

by Patrick Mahaney on February 27, 2015

This article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News column on as Hugh Jackman’s French Bulldog Does Yoga Like a Pro

Hugh Jackman�s French Bulldog Does Yoga Like a Pro

Participating in a regular yoga practice is one of my favorite things to do during my non-veterinary professional hours.  Yoga helps keep me sane in the energy-draining and stressful process of caring for my patients, managing my clients, and running a business. From Ashtanga to Baptiste and Iyengar to Kundalini, a variety of styles of yoga are those in which I participate.  Before moving to Los Angeles, I taught yoga for many years in Washington, DC and Seattle, WA. At this point in my life and career as a veterinarian, I’m happy just being a student

Yoga isn’t just for people these days, as our animal companions are also getting their “om” on.  According to Hugh Jackman’s Instagram page, evidently the love of yoga also is found in our canine companions. Jackman recently posted a photo of his French Bulldog, Dali, looking like the perfect little yogi while striking an Upward-Facing Dog pose with the caption “Doing his morning yoga. #DaliJackman”. Over 75,000 people have liked this photo so far.

I’m going to have to start searching Instagram for #DaliJackman so I can keep up with Dali’s next yoga pose (kind of like Hilaria Baldwin, the “yoga pose of the day” wife of Alec Baldwin) and the rest of his canine adventures.

Any Jackman fan knows how super-fit he is from his movies (X-Men, etc.) and stage performances (The Boy from Oz, for which he won a Tony Award).  Via the public accessibility of Instagram, the world gets see how Jackman keeps himself pumped and shredded through his frequent photos showing his strenuous workouts. Besides his gym sessions, we also see Jackman pounding the pavement on the streets of New York with Dali by his side as observed by the seemingly omnipresent lens of the paparazzi. When a dog like Dali is the companion to one of the world’s biggest celebrities, there’s a certain level of acceptance he has to accept about always being in the public eye.  I guess as long as the paps don’t harass his owner, get in the way of a favorite pee spot, or catch a compromising photo while he’s pooping Dali likely doesn’t care.

Yoga for Dogs

Of course, when a pooch such as Dali is physical challenged by vigorous walks in Manhattan, there’s also the need for restorative activities like yoga.  Upward-Facing Dog, also known as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit, is a posture that is common to many yoga practices and familiar to practitioners. It is part of a sequence of poses collectively termed vinyasa, which translates as “flow”; as in “flow from one posture to another with breath.”  When a yoga teacher directs students to “take a vinyasa,” this means stepping back into a “high plank” pose (like the top of a push up), exhaling down into a low push up (Chaturanga Dandasana, or Four-Limbed Staff Pose), inhaling forward over the toes and into Upward-Facing Dog, then exhaling back into Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).

There are known therapeutic benefits to the upward facing dog, including:

Opening of the thoracic (chest) cavity- which promotes expansion of the lungs and improves oxygenation

Lengthening the front and sides of the neck- to improve blood flow to and activate the thyroid and parathyroid glands

Elongating the muscles on the front side of the vertebral column

Compressing the intervertebral discs and facets (joints that hold the spine in place) on the back side of the vertebral column

Stretching the entire front side of the legs from the hips down to toe tips

Although I haven’t seen photos or a video of Dali doing an entire vinyasa sequence, I speculate we will soon see him striking a variety of poses via his dad’s curious lens.

On a side note, congratulations to the Jackman family for adding a new canine companion to their household.  Just before Christmas 2014, he posted an announcement photo of the new pooch with the caption “Santa came early and he brought a sister for Dali. Introducing Allegra Jackman.”  Hopefully, Allegra will have many healthy and fit years with Dali and the human members of the Jackman family.

Thank you for reading this article.  Your questions and comments are completely welcome (I’ll respond).
Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.
Copyright of this article (2015) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format. 
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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

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