Cats And Yoga: The Latest Fitness Trend

person in yoga position; namaste; cat sniffing handsIf you have been visiting my website regularly, you will know that Lucinda and I just finished a review of The Dalai Lama’s Cat, a three-book series about HHC, His Holiness’s Cat. When surfing the web to find a new subject for a post, I came across some articles about cats and yoga: the latest fitness trend.

In the book series I reviewed, you can read about HHC’s introduction to yoga at the studio down the street, run by human friends of hers. The cat is fascinated with the class and the yoga cat standing on headposes.

Now I find that there are places of business that conduct yoga classes attended both by people and cats. No, the cats do not really participate in the class with humans, not by imitating all the poses. Instead, the cats interact with the people in the class in all sorts of ways, creating some comical situations.

When I learned about cat cafes, I was enamored with the idea, but cat yoga went a step beyond. I learned that these places, though not as numerous as the cafes, are person on yoga mat; cat sniffing themgaining popularity. It’s rather a natural fit, actually, as yoga is about being in the moment, and cats live in the moment all the time.

The yoga itself is not particularly strenuous, but is geared more to beginners. It can, however, become adaptable to different levels of expertise. With the cats present and interacting, classwork does tend to become more relaxed. The cats are friendly, and really seem to enjoy the interaction with the yogis.

Cats are brought from nearby shelters, and are usually available for adoption. The number of cats in attendance can vary — I read of one class where 40 cats interacted with the two-legged attendees. At the beginning of one session I read about, the students are given 30 minutes to play with the cats before class starts.

Yoga itself is known to be great for health challenges. It can improve flexibility, increase muscle tone, and help in building mindfulness. It is also helpful for suchcat sitting, one back foot straight up issues as anxiety, chronic pain or illness and depression. It can improve your balance and your breathing, and actually help your overall health.

Having the cats to interact with while you practice adds an extra layer of stress reduction. You can stroke their soft fur, which in itself is relaxing, and you can laugh at their antics. Because of the cats’ presence, classes are less formal and often more relaxing.

Meanwhile, the cats, though perhaps a bit distracting during yoga, give loving two kittens stretchingattention to their guests.

The cats interact in some amusing ways. One person reported that a cat licked her hand vigorously during downward dog

cat in downward cat yoga pose

Downward cat

(called downward cat for these sessions.) Another person reported that her socks were stolen and rolled along the floor as a toy.

Amusing pictures in the articles show cats sitting or stretching out on the mats (These places warn you not to bring your own mat, as the cat likes to sharpen her claws on it.)

If you wear your hair in a ponytail for one of these classes, don’t be surprised if a cat or two plays with it during some of your poses. One report mentioned that during theperson lying on yoga mat; cat on top; two dogs nearby savasana, or final resting pose of the class, usually at least half the people would have a cat asleep on their chest

Despite their antics and interactions with the students, the cats’ presence seem to be strangely relaxing. Perhaps you won’t get as vigorous a workout as you would without the cat guests, but you may find you’re very relaxed and stress-free at the end of your session.

It is felt that having the cats present is a bonus for the people attending, and is also good for the cats. They get stimulation from the humans, and often lots of attention, which only helps the cat become more adaptable. Socialization is a good thing.

cat on back legs; stretching one front paw upCats are expert at living in the moment. They do not need mindfulness training. However, we might benefit from mindfulness exercises, so here is a link to that story on my other website, build2winaffiliates.com. It’s called “How is Mindfulness

 Helpful?”

Here are links to the articles I used to research cat yoga:

eventbrite.com/rally/united-states/cat-yoga-class

hillspet.com/cat-care/play-exercise/cat-yoga-exercise

cnn.com/2016/11/28/health/cat-yoga/index.html

nytimes.com/2017/06/07/well/family/yoga-with-cats.html

It amused me to find many products on Amazon related to cat yoga. I’m listing a few of them here in case you would like a unique cat-yoga-themed gift or personal item. It would please me if you found something you liked. Please be aware that if you purchase any of these items from me, I will receive a small commission from Amazon.

 

Yoga Cats 2020  12-inch monthly square wall calendar,

animals, humor cat

by Brown Trout Publishers

Price:  $15.18 prime

 

 

Eurographics Yoga Cats

1000-piece puzzle

by Eurographics — Toys

Price:  $17.23  prime

 

Funy Professional Yoga Art

Do Difficult Yoga Positions

Customized mouse pad by Apottwal

Price:  $6.99  Prime

 

 

Paper towel stand — yoga cat cast iron holder

by What on Earth

Price:  $32.99  Prime

 

 

 

Knseva Cute Yoga Cats Mouse Pad Funny Kitten

Movement Mouse Pads by Knseva

Price:  $5.99  Prime 

 

 

Novica 182531 Kitty Cat Prayer Wooden Sculpture

by Novica

Price:  $49.95  Prime

 

 

There’s the selection, folks…I hope you see one that you like.  Just click on the image or the blue highlighted link and you will be taken to Amazon to make your purchase.  Thanks for visiting!


4 Responses to Cats And Yoga: The Latest Fitness Trend

  1. Nightwulf29 says:

    Now this is a topic I’ll admit I havent heard much about. As someone that doesnt know much about yoga and cats being intertwined, I found this post quite refreshing. I like how you broke down the process of incorporating our feline friends into the art of yoga for relaxation and how their presence is beneficial during the exercise. I feel many people would be hesistant about trying out yoga because they feel they may not be that flexible or that it can be tough physically. However, with the added incentive of cats being around to take off some of the pressure, I could see the reader considering this practice. Good post!

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Yes, the cats and yoga classes are ideal for beginners, because you start with the not-so-difficult things.  As you learn and laugh at the cats’ antics, you will also relax.  Your stress over trying the class will melt away.  

      It’s cool that the classes allow a bit of time just to interact with the cats.  They are curious, and want to know who you are as well.  I used to take yoga, and wouldn’t mind trying a session with cats…it would be fun.  

  2. R.J. says:

    Hey Fran, awesome article. Cats and Yoga, I’ve never heard of such a thing but it is definitely one of the most unique things I’ve ever read. Incidentally, I would think that cats would be a distraction when it comes to something like yoga but I guess every sport or exercise got to have a mascot of some kind. Overall, your article was a great read.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Well, from what I read, they were a bit of a distraction, but it resulted in laughter and stress relief.  Therefore, I’d say they were a good thing.  If you wanted a really strenuous workout it might not be so good, just because the cats are distracting.  However, I think if you attend the event knowing you’ll do some yoga and also interact with some cats, you would enjoy the whole experience.

      In the second book of “The Dalai Lama’s Cat”, the star of the book, which is of course the cat, starts attending yoga classes down the street.  She’s fascinated with the poses.  In the middle of the book she says something like “I was ready for bed, so jumped on the chair, assumed the croissant pose, and fell asleep.  Immediately in my mind’s eye I saw my cat curled up in his favorite sleep position, which is definitely croissant-shaped, and I was impressed by how well the author knows cats.

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