Let’s talk about the newest yoga trend sweeping the nation. Yoga with adorably cute animals. Preferably baby animals, but in a pinch, their grown-up counterparts will do.
In the not too distant past, people used to post “fail” videos of their pets interrupting their yoga flows. Now they will happily pay to let little animals clamber all over them for an hour. I’m not judging here, mind you. On the contrary, I’m ready to hand over my hard earned cash to the first person who can bring me a class full of baby goats in pajamas!
Maybe you want to take one of those classes too. Or maybe, you have your own pets, and you would like to try some Doga (Yep, dog yoga has its own name now) at home. You probably imagine that it will look like this skilled pup and her owner, when in reality, as most pet owners know, it ends up a lot more like this…
I’m fairly certain that this yoga with animals revolution was caused by the pet owners of the yoga world. They got tired of being being interrupted, and finally figured out a way to bring peace to their home practice. The secret? If your pet was going to interrupt anyways, you might as well plan for it!
So in the spirit of going with the flow, and rocking whatever situation you find yourself in, here are the most common types of Yoga With Animals currently making the rounds.
The one I personally look forward to trying the most:
Goat Yoga (as long as you don’t mind possibly getting peed on) is great idea.
You can see for yourself, as this local News team gives it a try. Lots of laughing. And lots of goat poop. Goat yoga inspires much laughter. And we all know that laughter is the best medicine.
What makes baby goats such appealing yoga partners? They are playful, and natural obstacle climbers. Once you get down on your knees, you become their favorite new playground. Studies also show that goats, like dogs and horses can affect humans in a “positive-stress relieving way.” But of course, if you have ever laughed uncontrollably at a video of baby goats (like this one, drop kicking his little buddies) then you already knew that. Goats can relieve my stress via distant video. Imagine how much more they can help up close!
So where can you go to try this for yourself? Well goatyoga.net claims to be the source of the “original goat yoga.” Only they know if this is a true statement or not. But what is certainly true is that their website lists multiple states, locations and dates where you can find the next class nearest you. So go ahead. Sign up for a class, and prepare for bliss. We advise you leave your good yoga pants at home though. It could get messy.
Bunny Yoga – Always a good idea. Bunnies are pretty curious too, and enjoy hopping all around. Your heart will swell with joy when one of these curious little critters trustingly hops up and sniffs you while you work on your downward dog.
I can say from experience on this one. These cute little animals are God’s gift to anyone suffering from stress. I have found snuggling bunnies to be so therapeutic that now I don’t even wait for my stress level to spiral. I go straight to my friend’s house for bunny snuggles as preventative de-stressing if I know something big is coming up in my week. (Tax season anyone?)
We had tons of fun with our Uniquely Yoga Easter shoot, and I plan to repeat the yoga experience with our little models “Puff & Bundles” as often as humanly possible!
Bunny yoga as a group class is an option too, and often supports a good cause. Whether you are a bunny owner yourself, or you have friends that are, if you haven’t brought them into your yoga practice at least once, then you are missing out.
Horse Yoga – Anyone who has ever ridden a horse knows how dangerous it is to take your mind off of them, even for a second. I vote, bad idea for the general public! However, if you are an experienced equestrian, horse yoga is an easier step down from the long embraced sport of Vaulting (Gymnastics on horseback.) If you already ride, and you have the proper safety measures, like surcingles, spotters, and a person lunging, then this is a cool way to connect with your horse.
If you are not a rider, this is a dangerous way to try yoga,
If you are a rider, but with out proper safety measures, then this is a dangerous way to get instagram pics. We all want to be the the lady in the above photo, but let’s face it…You won’t even be doing yoga, because you should never let your guard down even for a second. As all riders are aware, even the most bullet proof horse can spook for no earthly reason, and your horse yoga bonding session can turn into a nightmare in a flash. If you really want to do yoga with animals, I highly recommend any of the other options mentioned in this article over horses. Anyone who has been dumped, run off with or accidentally trampled by a horse will tell you that they all wish it had been a bunny or a goat instead!
Dog yoga (Doga) - Puppies love it when you get down on their level to play. If you have a puppy, this is a great way to increase your time spent with them, and decrease your frustration for home yoga.
There are group yoga classes offered with puppies as well, like here, at OmKai Yoga in Colorado. Many humane shelters are now finding a way to combine forces with local yoga studios to offer puppy yoga for a good cause. They bring a select group of healthy pups to scamper about in a special yoga class. The cost of the class goes to support the local animal shelter, and furry friends have a chance to meet potential new owners.
Kitten yoga is a thing too! – I personally imagine that this would be a bust, since cats are so independent. I picture them stalking over to sun themselves on the window and leaving the yoga participants to a class that feels very normal while the kittens occasionally deign to bless you with a stare, or to dart across the room for no reason. Lol.
However, some places do offer kitten yoga as a class, so you can try it for yourself and let us know how it went via the comments!
So go out and find a class full of adorable things near you. If you have a local animal shelter that you love to support, and see if they ever pair up with yoga studios. Not in the mood to go out and about? Stay home and let your own fur baby in on your yoga practice. A happier, stress free life may be just a pet filled yoga class away.