Yoga with animals – the best way to do yoga

Yoga with animals is a thing!

Cat Yoga VancouverWell, in Vancouver it’s a thing, and I’m so glad it is.

Choosing to travel and live on-and-off in different countries gives you so many opportunities which I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it does come with a few downsides.

Black yoga kitten taking a break on a boxOne of these is not being able to have a pet. For two animal loving people it can be hard to find opportunities to interact with animals. That’s why when I heard of yoga with animals, I was on board immediately.

There are a few charities now offering this in Vancouver as a way to raise awareness, fundraise and to help promote the adoption of their animals.

So this morning I found myself hopping out of bed at an ungodly hour on a gloomy and wet Sunday morning to attempt some very distracted yoga in a room with 10-15 cats and kittens wandering around. It was so worth it.

I did what on a Sunday morning?

Setting up for cats on your mats yoga

Cats on your mats yoga! This inventive and wonderful fundraising event was organized by Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) and Catfe Vancouver (Vancouver’s soon to be first cat café when it opens in October 2015), and hosted by Stretch Vancouver studios.

The class was never designed to be a full blown serious class for obvious reasons, it was fun, relaxed, talkative and everyone had huge smiles on their faces. It’s not something you see often in a yoga class.

How did yoga with cats work?

Cats-on-your-mats-yoga

We were let into the room in groups while the cats were kept at the opposite end to stop them making a break for freedom. They handed out cat teasers and a laser pointer was brought out a couple of times, which made the cats go crazy!

The crazy grey kitten exploring the roomYou would be in downward dog and next minute there was a kitten twisting through your legs and rubbing itself past your head.

There was one little grey tabby kitten that had the biggest personality I’ve ever seen in a kitten. It was running around like a crazy thing, hanging from cat teasers and at one point the curtains!

The crazy little grey kitten attacking my hoodie stringsThere was a little time at the end to have a quick pat and scratch of the kittens and the crazy little grey one ended up on my lap trying to eat the laces hanging from my hoodie.

It was so much fun and all for a great cause. More Cats on your mats sessions have been organised for 17 January 2016, so keep an eye on their social media pages for details (links at the end of this post).

We’ve done yoga at home, on the road, in studios, and even spent time in an Ashram in India’s Rishikesh, but having these cute and fluffy friends join you for a session makes it something else entirely.

It’s all going towards helping to care for and home these gorgeous little creatures and if you love animals but don’t have access to a tiny fluffy yogi at home, here is your chance.

Taking a break from cat yoga

But I’m allergic to cats?

Don’t worry, there are other versions of yoga with animals:

The Small Animal Rescue Society of BC (SARS) is holding Bunny Yoga – unsurprisingly their first two sessions sold out quickly so keep an eye on their social media for updates.

The Vancouver Rabbit Rescue & Advocacy (VRRA) group have also hopped on the bunny yoga bandwagon (pun intended) holding their own Urban Bunny Yoga sessions.

Social media links:

Catfe
@catfe_Vancouver
https://www.facebook.com/catfe

VOKRA
@VOKRAtweets
https://www.facebook.com/VOKRA

SARS
@SARSBC
https://www.facebook.com/SmallAnimalRescueSociety

VRRA
@VRRA
https://www.facebook.com/VancouverRabbitRescue

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Have you done yoga with some yogi loving animals? Leave a comment about your experience below…

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