I practice yoga, though I used to have a hard time admitting it.
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.
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.
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.
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!
54 thoughts on “Cats and Yoga: It’s a Thing!”
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
So I wonder if there are Tai Chi with cats classes?
I do Pilates for all the same reasons!my lab Ruby thinks I am touched!
Because Pilates is also a cat thing. Just saying’…
Not sure but cats would always be a plus !
Great idea! I love yoga but I am self taught from books and DVDs.
I go to class to learn and be challenged but mostly practice on my own.
Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
Thanks for sharing, I like yoga and cats:)
I’m glad Cat yoga is taking off. They are perfect together really.
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
I am not a formal meditator per say, but when I do spend some time being still a purring cat always helps calm my mind.
🙂 yessssss that’s what I meant…
I think I’ll pass.
To each his own.
Have seen so many wonderful videos of pets ‘helping out’ during a yoga session!
And now you can help rescues while getting that expert “help!”
We have some dog yoga “classes” here, but the experts, cats, seem to be holding out. Cool idea!
I like the cat yoga because it seems dogs get far more attention than cats and this is one way to get them the attention and (hopefully) adoption numbers up!
Agreed. Besides cats are graceful naturals at it…and they do it quietly, dogs can’t stop chatting long enough to meditate
Yeah I would tho kndogs would prefer jazzercise!
I just shared something on FB for goat yoga. Cat yoga is a good idea too.
I’ve heard of goat yoga!
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.
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.
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!!!!
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 🙂
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!
I know, right? The person or persons who came up with this are genius!
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.
I think it already has. Talk to your local rescue or shelter about it!
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!
Wonderful!!!! Be sure and tell us all about it!
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.
My cats love to “coach” me when I practice too. They love playing London Bridge while I’m trying to do Sunrise Salutations.
“Coaching” is definitely a good word for their help. Hercules enjoys climbing up my back and sitting on my butt while I’m in Downward Dog, haha 🙂
ROFL! I’m sure that helps!
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
I love this post. Can I share it to my blog. So cool
As long as you give proper credit, yes!
OK It was funny and smart! and I had no idea people did that.
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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:)
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.
Yeah, and puppies would be everywhere!
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. 😊
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
Me too! Dogs tend to get so much more attention but cats are wonderful companions too!
I love yoga AND cats (maybe cats just a little more than yoga but the difference is residual) 🙂 This would be my biggest dream.