Have you tried yoga with goats, cats, dogs, or even bunnies? Chances are that if you haven’t, you know someone who has. Animal yoga has been sweeping the nation, gaining in popularity and ever expanding the species involved. These yoga experiences can be great fun for both people and animals, but if you plan to participate in yoga with animals, make sure that you do your research before signing up.
Unfortunately, not all who offer yoga with animals are concerned with the long-term welfare of their animal practitioners. So before you do child’s pose with a kid or downward dog with a pup, please ask these questions:
- Where do the animals come from?
- Are they rescued or up for adoption?
- Where do the animals live when not doing yoga?
- Are the animals required to interact with people in class?
Unfortunately, another important item to consider regarding baby animal yoga is what happens to the animals after they are grown (e.g., in baby goat yoga classes) as well as the practices behind a place that consistently offers “baby” yoga. Sadly, some baby animals, especially goats, may be sold when they have grown and can end up in places such as meat or dairy farms. The answers to these questions can help you determine if the yoga class is one you feel comfortable participating in.
HSHV’s Tiny Lions Lounge and Adoption Center offers yoga with cats on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. All cats at the lounge are loved and cared for by staff and volunteers until they get adopted into their forever families. While many of the cats like to join participants in some sun salutations, they are free to roam the lounge (or nap) at their leisure. Find out more at tinylions.org/yoga.