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cats, pets

Cats and Yoga: It’s a Thing!

I practice yoga, though I used to have a hard time admitting it.

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I used to use a yoga towel but that quickly became a cat acquisition.

Yoga is marketed to upper middle class people who use yoga as a way to let the rest of us to know they’re better than we are because they are healthy and we are not. You know the ones; they wear specially designed yoga clothes and carry their mats with pride. Me, I do yoga at home in a t-shirt and shorts on the shag carpet. When I do go to class it’s at work and it’s free.

I practice yoga because it is a wonderful strength-building exercise. Regular practice alleviates pain and stiffness from arthritis. And despite all the walking and line dancing I do, it’s only when I regularly add yoga to the mix that I feel improvement in my health.

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Posted by Crea Internation (@retail_design) to Twitter of NYC’s @MeowParlour Cat Cafe yoga class.

I do my practice in the mornings after everyone’s immediate needs for food, water, and elimination are met. I get lots of moral support from the cats, especially Little Girl. She comes up to me and mewls encouragement while insisting I rub her head while I’m stretching my lower back. June Buggie and Bubba usually hang out nearby and feign disinterest, and sometimes even Rumpy comes in and hangs out while I do my thing.

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Little Girl-my yoga partner

But when I recently learned via NPR that cat yoga is a thing happening in some animal shelters and rescues across the country, I changed my mind about yoga. At these cat yoga events participants pay a fee to come to class at the shelter or rescue while cats available for adoption join in the fun. At the Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Birmingham, Alabama, women paid $10 each to participate in a class with some cats. And at least one fella who was just waiting on a friend left with a new friend. Recently news outlets reported of similar offerings in Houston, Atlanta, and Seattle.

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Advert for Great Birmingham Humane’s first Cat Yoga class. 

 

I’m glad to learn this is a thing, and I hope more shelters and rescues jump on the bandwagon. True, my practice would be more consistent without the cats around, but it would be far less fun. And at these offerings the cats get a wonderful opportunity to socialize with humans. Here’s hoping yoga with cats helps increase the numbers of cats who are adopted out.

If you hear of a yoga class at a rescue in your area, go already! Meet some great like-minded folks and let a cat show you what stretching is really all about while supporting cat adoption!

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About rumpydog

I am a malamute that was rescued by her. I live with June Buggie the cat. I blog about animal welfare and responsible care of companion animals at rumpydog.com. You can follow me on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE my Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

54 thoughts on “Cats and Yoga: It’s a Thing!

  1. I’m not a yoga fan, Jen.Never liked getting down on the floor. Tai chi…now you’re talking. Our kitty, Chi, is a natural at both! 😉 xoM

    Posted by Margarita | November 6, 2016, 7:35 AM
  2. I do Pilates for all the same reasons!my lab Ruby thinks I am touched!

    Posted by willowdot21 | November 6, 2016, 7:36 AM
  3. Great idea! I love yoga but I am self taught from books and DVDs.

    Posted by The Vegan Mystic | November 6, 2016, 8:42 AM
  4. Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
    Thanks for sharing, I like yoga and cats:)

    Posted by ravenhawks magazine | November 6, 2016, 12:55 PM
  5. Believe me: cats are really the best companions and they give you a good vib… When I meditate, not all six, but at least 4 of our cats, join in… and when I dedicate the acquired merits to other living creatures… my cats are the first one on the list! :-)c

    Posted by Giovannoni Claudine | November 6, 2016, 1:24 PM
  6. I think I’ll pass.

    Posted by Lynda Fisher | November 6, 2016, 7:01 PM
  7. Have seen so many wonderful videos of pets ‘helping out’ during a yoga session!

    Posted by Animalcouriers | November 7, 2016, 3:27 AM
  8. We have some dog yoga “classes” here, but the experts, cats, seem to be holding out. Cool idea!

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | November 7, 2016, 7:45 AM
  9. I just shared something on FB for goat yoga. Cat yoga is a good idea too.

    Posted by Cathy Keisha | November 7, 2016, 9:39 AM
  10. I’m with you…health clubs seem somewhat pretentious…I’d much rather do yoga at home where its benefits go to work immediately. There’s no delay following a class to get home. That said, there are built in deteriments with 4 paws that can make it even more interesting. But truth be told, I wouldn’t change a single asana! 😉 Ohmmmmm.

    Posted by Tails Around the Ranch | November 7, 2016, 7:46 PM
    • The health clubs also bring the risk of being the next viral photo posted by someone who thinks they’re cute and you aren’t. I exercise at work because if anyone did something like that they would be fired.

      Posted by rumpydog | November 8, 2016, 4:43 AM
  11. I do one Yoga pose…it helps re-align my spine! Nylablue used to snuggle me when I did it. Purrince Siddhartha Henry watches me with a sort of bemusement on his face!
    He does his own Yoga,,,,
    And I also pose him in 3 positions…he must think I’m bonkers but he likes the attention.
    Now a Yoga class with cats would be FAB!!!!
    (((hugs))) Sherri-Ellen

    Posted by Nylabluesmum | November 8, 2016, 5:41 PM
  12. Love the photos in this post! My cat shows absolutely no interest in my daily practise, I wish there was a yoga class with cats in my area, what a fantastic idea 🙂

    Posted by amylaurenbutler | November 23, 2016, 6:10 AM
  13. What a great idea! My cat can’t stay away when my mat comes out! It never occurred to me that someone might organize a class with embedded cats… And if those cats find new, loving homes? Win – win – win!

    Posted by Writergrrrl | December 3, 2016, 2:31 PM
  14. This sounds like a great idea for both the cats and the class participants! I hope it catches on and spreads to many more shelters.

    Posted by Meghan Capps | December 24, 2016, 7:42 AM
  15. nice idea

    Posted by Ted Breson | January 5, 2017, 11:56 PM
  16. Wow I had no idea! I have a cat, Rajah, and doing yoga with her around is almost impossible (she likes to play with my hair and make a game out of it) but usually I can distract her from this by throwing her stuffed animal (she fetches..like a dog). I can honestly say I do enjoy doing yoga with her around and if I hear of any cat yoga happening where I live, I will definitely go! Thank you for your post!

    Carlee-evenmoreyou.wordpress.com

    Posted by evenmoreyou | January 9, 2017, 2:25 PM
  17. I love this! I’m going to give it a try if I hear of it in my area. I’ve done yoga while my cat is around and he thinks its time to play and climbs all over me, fun times.

    Posted by ceciliamarlena | January 12, 2017, 6:44 PM
  18. It’s true! My cats support my yoga journey. You can see how adorable they are on my insta site. https://www.instagram.com/salpalhou/?hl=en

    Posted by culturedfromthecountry | January 14, 2017, 11:43 AM
  19. I love this post. Can I share it to my blog. So cool

    Posted by runawaywidow | January 16, 2017, 5:56 PM
  20. Hi!
    I just subscribed to your blog and am looking forward to reading through your articles! We develop mobile apps for bloggers that allow your audience to connect with you directly at the touch of an icon. This is different from the WordPress app because the WordPress app is for the blogger, our apps are for your audience. Our apps are easy and fun and we are building them for no charge(until the end of summer) 😉 If you are ever curious or want to step up your blog a bit please contact us anytime.
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    Posted by Jacque' | January 18, 2017, 2:34 PM
  21. Reblogged this on bodhisARTva and commented:
    Cats, I think, are natural yogis — they CAN pretzel around to meet those elusive parts of themselves, they CAN be the still center of the whirling wheel (if they want to!) & they already have the cute outfits, yah? Those of us with pets are just laughing at the people who will go PAY for the privilege of finding a furball underneath you just when your muscles are about to give out! But I hope they will keep going, & that more animal shelters will provide this kind of thing:)

    Posted by bodhisARTva | February 10, 2017, 11:27 AM
  22. Such an interesting idea… I wonder if this would be possible with dogs, and then quickly shook my head “no”. Lol at least with my dogs. As soon as i get down on the floor to their level my face becomes their popsicle, my mat is their body rub pad, and its playtime the whole time. I can forget about practice at that point haha.

    Posted by peaceloveeffey | February 12, 2017, 6:45 AM
  23. Well, of course cats would be the perfect candidate for an animal yogi. Cat /cows and flexibility , I channel my inner cat during yoga sesh’s. Hehe. 😊

    Posted by eicplatform | February 15, 2017, 4:43 PM
  24. I just recently saw this on Twitter that places are doing this and i LOVE it! I hope they do it everywhere and help these little kitties get some love and hopefully a furever home

    Posted by xocaseyjohnson | February 18, 2017, 2:31 PM
  25. I love yoga AND cats (maybe cats just a little more than yoga but the difference is residual) 🙂 This would be my biggest dream.

    Posted by What Is A Name After All? | February 27, 2017, 8:58 AM

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