Yoga mat, water bottle,... lint roller?

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson

Furry friends bring a new twist to traditional yoga.

Photo Credit: Egrigorvich /

Yoga was met with a huge North American following in the 1970s and over the years it’s seen its fair share of twists and turns (pun intended) with some of the more recent renditions requiring participants to bring, well, a lint roller to class.

Yes, that ancient Indian art of strengthening both mind and body has evolved over the past decade and today incorporates another popular trend – animals. And they come in a surprising variety of shapes and sizes.

For a cat café in Kelowna, British Columbia, the decision to jump on this growing trend made adding yoga sessions to the menu a no-brainer. The classes, run by an outside yoga studio, confirm that cats weaving in, out, and under downward dogs can result in some new, rather creative positions. And no, you don’t need to bring your own - the café has plenty of willing and adoptable felines who will happily roam the room watching for any student who tries to ignore them, before zeroing in and claiming their mat.

Don’t dig cats? Why not loosen up that tension with a cute little pup? Now, if you think an attention-seeking cat is irksome when you’re focused on perfecting your chakra, try a playful pooch who’s just looking for a place to wreak a little havoc. No pup? No problem. Loads of yoga studios have aligned with breeders and rescues that need to socialize young pups before they go to their forever homes. The mini mutts are all healthy, vet-checked and hyped about hitting the mats to cuddle up to their new yoga buddy.

And if you prefer to stretch and de-stress with your own pooch in the comforts of home, there are a wide range of videos that will help get you and your best bud fit, flexible, and living your best life.

But for the truly seasoned yoga aficionado who has mastered the ability to remain balanced in their warrior pose as a cat wraps itself around their ankles, you may be ready to advance to the next level: goat yoga.

Yes, this variation on the classic yoga class includes baby goats who will be doing whatever they want as you attempt to execute the perfect cobra. Never heard of it? Surprisingly, it’s available in a number of rural areas throughout North America and is an entertaining variation on an ancient art that has actually become a financial boon for farmers happy to host and loan out the offspring to interested yoga studios. Per the founder of US-based Downward Goat, “Traditional yoga practices offer a host of benefits for humans – from increased flexibility and strength to improved balance and posture as well as reducing stress and anxiety. When coupled with cuddles from baby goats, yoga classes can help you feel more in the moment and at peace”. No kidding (pun intended, again). Expect these little guys to attack full tilt, climb on your back, jump in your lap and seek out treats (farm-provided) the moment you take to your mat.

So, are you ready to line up your yoga-loving friends to explore a more spirited sense of spirituality? Namaste, my friend, namaste!

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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